6 Aug 2014

Vanuatu tourism looks to grow without new airport

8:11 pm on 6 August 2014

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce says it supports the government's decision to scrap a 350 million US dollar for airport developments around the country.

The Greenfield airport plan, which included a new airport in Port Vila, had been introduced by the recently removed Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses.

However it was strongly opposed by MPs and canned last week.

The Singapore-based company involved, Vanuatu Trade Development Limited, is now claiming losses of 31 million US dollars.

The Chamber's tourism councillor, Bryan Death says the new airport would not have brought more tourists to the country for another eight years.

He says that means the existing Bauerfield Airport would have had to be renovated anyway.

"The timing wasn't good and the agreement didn't do much for Vanuatu as such and could have been quite embarrassing for the government down the track in terms of cost. We need to grow tourism with our existing facility which is quite possible. There's quite a lot of potential growth in our tourist arrivals without a new international airport."

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce tourism councillor, Bryan Death