Department of Tourism celebrates success of Malampa Tourism Program
This week, the usually quiet street of Malekula’s provincial town centre, Lakatoro, was filled with custom dancers and an official parade celebrating the success of the Department of Tourism's partnership with the Australian Government funded TVET Centre based in Norsup.
To mark the occasion the Department of Tourism combined the launch of the Malekula Land Transport Association, the local launch of the Malampa Travel Call Centre and the TVET Centre's biannual certificate ceremony on Monday 5 December.
The TVET Centre handed out 280 certificates to graduates from all over Malampa who have completed the nationally accredited short course trainings funded and coordinated through the Centre.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Team Leader of the TVET Program, Marian Loughman said “the TVET Centre is a 'one- stop-shop' providing a range of skill development services for people in Malampa".
"We are celebrating today the graduates of our nationally accredited trainings and the success of our business development coaching services in the tourism sector," said Mrs Loughman.
Over the past two years, the Malampa TVET Centre has delivered a series of workshops and coaching sessions to local bungalow owners and cultural tour groups.
Business Development Adviser from the Department of Tourism, Edna Paolo, is pleased with the impact the TVET Centre has had on the local tourism industry.
"This business support program has enabled participants to dramatically improve the quality of their small businesses and now that we have opened the Malampa Travel Call Centre they are in a position to advertise their products to international tourists."
The Malampa Travel Call Centre operates as a booking and information service for tourism businesses in Malampa. Owned by the Malampa Island Bungalows & Tourism Association, the Call Centre has received start-up funding or support from NZAid, Department of Tourism, Australian Government funded through TVET Program, Telecom Vanuatu Ltd, and the Malampa Provincial Council.
The Malekula Land Transport Association (MLTA) has been developed to help deliver more efficient and coordinated transport in Malekula. Chairman of the association Paul Paolo said, "The association will act as a network enabling the transport operators to work together and ensure development in the tourism sector continues".
"MLTA will work with the Malampa Travel Call Centre so that tourists will have the opportunity to explore and enjoy everything the island has to offer," said Mr Paolo.
"The success of the TVET Centre tourism coaching program, the development of the Malekula Land Transport Association and the Department of Tourism's Malampa Travel Call Centre is clearly demonstrating how working together can strengthen economic development at the provincial level," said Mrs Loughman.