24 Jan 2008

Vanuatu tourism pins hopes for growth on new plane

7:19 pm on 24 January 2008

Tourism operators in Vanuatu are hoping the national airline's new plane will help the industry continue to grow.

Air Vanuatu has upgraded its 10-year old Boeing 737-300 to a 737-800, which has more than an additional 40 seats, and will begin flying on February 1st

The marketing manager for the Vanuatu Tourism Office, Annie Niatu, says with the new plane flying to both Port Vila and Santo, more local people will benefit from tourism.

"The hotel industry is going to benefit if there's more people coming in to Vanuatu. Then we are hoping that more visitors are also able to travel to the outer islands which is where the rural areas are. With air Vanuatu flying to Santo this is where we see more visitors going to the outer islands."

Annie Niatu says there will need to be more marketing and promotion to make sure the airline is running at capacity.