The Vanuatu National Booking Platform for Tourism is the newest project by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry and Ni-Vanuatu Businesses in Partnership with and fully funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to assist the Tourism Industry in recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to COVID-19, although Vanuatu Tourism was beginning to gain ground in the worldwide marketplace, the issue of Digital Trade, E-Commerce, and access to these types of technologies for many tourism operators was a major issue. This has not changed.
In order to provide assistance in COVID Recovery and to meet the international standard set for touristic destinations, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Industry plan to use this project to increase trade facility standards for Tourism Operators so that they are better equipped to welcome back tourists to the country post COVID-19.
The project will create one main online e-commerce tourism hub that plans to initially showcase 500 businesses (tours and activities, accommodation, transport, and handicrafts) from among the 6 provinces.
Each operator will have access to their own listing so that they can fully manage all aspects of their business which include taking bookings or making sales, showcasing business services and products, viewing financial reporting regarding their business and many other features that will certainly make the booking experience for potential customers, more enjoyable.
The system will also allow third Party Agents to easily connect with tourism operators and resell their services.
The system plans to expand to include a channel manager that will allow large OTA’s like Booking.com and others to connect in with Vanuatu Tourism Businesses.
VBL Media, the local company developing the platform, have worked hard to bring new technological solutions to Vanuatu Businesses.
They first developed the Vanuatu Bucket List, a tourism app that would allow tourists to find information on things to do while in Vanuatu. Then they developed the Vanuatu Booking System.
This allowed business owners to sell tours online and receive sales into their Vanuatu Bank account using the BRED Bank Payment Gateway.
The Directors of VBL Media, Tony Cretier and Lewis Fleming, feel strongly about Software Development as a means to really improve a business’s performance and this project will certainly prove that.
The Department of Tourism and Department of Industry who requested this project, are looking forward to implementing it as a means to both strengthen the Tourism and Handicrafts Industry’ and increase the business survival rate in these industries.
They believe strongly that the platform will continue to grow so as to give all tourism and handicraft operators, inclusive access to improved ECommerce and Digital Trade Facilities.
The Government of Vanuatu also wish to thank the full support that they have received from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for this project by means of the E-Commerce Aid for Trade Fund.
The project is expected to be completed by September 2021.