Success story for Tanna Evergreen
The key to success and happiness in the hospitality industry is for any woman who is involved in running a resort for example, is to always work hand in hand with her husband.
That is the advice of the Managing Director of Tanna Evergreen Resort and Tours, Meriane Numake.
The road from Whitegrass International Airport in Tanna to Tanna Evergreen Resort takes approximately five minutes by truck into the natural environment, with no sign that your vehicle is taking you into a modern facility complete with restaurant and champagne and executive suit for those guests looking for a home away from home.
For all lovers of the natural, green environment there is no better Resort to stay at than at Tanna Evergreen. The vehicle turns left at the entrance to the airport and heads along a grassy, bumpy road into the bush. Sit down if you are in the open at the back of your vehicle to avoid bumping your head on tree branches.
Suddenly the name of the resort appears on the side of the road and your vehicle turns left into the white sand driveway down forty or so metres into the entrance to the Resort, to be welcomed by the smiling ni Vanuatu staff. That is the success story of a vision which was originally engineered by a pioneer whose name has lived on to achieve prominence – Chief Tom Numake.
In the last ten years, Chief Numake’s son Samuel Numake and his wife Meriane Numake started Evergreen with four basic bungalow type rooms for backpackers and hired two part time workers. “When we ni Vanuatu want to enter into this competitive industry, we must be prepared to invest or put money back into the business to develop and that is exactly what we did and now ten years letter, we have 13 rooms and our visitors love it here. Now with confirmed plans for Unelco to bring electricity to us here at Evergreen, we are planning to increase the number of rooms to 20”, the dynamic woman explained while her husband sipped his beer in silence while he listened. It was clear his wife also spoke on his behalf to answer my questions.
The Managing Director is definitely a go-getter. She was selected to take part in an International Communications Technology Conference in Port Vila in the recent past and she returned to Evergreen a hands-on chief executive officer with internet technology at her finger tip.
Evergreen launched its satellite dish two weeks ago to hook up with electronic communications technology so that anyone anywhere in the world can simply go on the internet and book online to stay at Evergreen. “In fact it is also a milestone for us last week to start to go on line and searching and looking and downloading information which we never had access to before”, she said.
Prior to setting their Satellite Dish, she said they would market their product through word of mouth, brochures, television and the print media. “But the biggest one now when we talk about technology today is through web marketing and with the assistance of the two consultants that are working for us now, we are putting a lot of effort to make sure that Tanna Evergreen is the best resort in Tanna in Tafea and heading towards being one of the best ones nationally”, he said.
Marianne and Samuel are the living examples of young indigenous entrepreneurs who have proved themselves to the hospitality industry that yes, ni Vanuatu can also succeed. “If Tanna Evergreen Resort and Tours can do it, it means that other ni Vanuatu can also do it. You just have to know how to use your time to commit yourself and set your focus right and you will see the flow of tourists come in”, she said.
“If you are a woman, get on board and paddle your canoe together with your husband. Like the canoe which has an outrigger to balance it so to a business can also succeed if both husband and his wife are involved in running it to achieve the long term goal of the business eventually”.