As the clean-up from Tropical Cyclone Pam continues, Vanuatu is encouraging travellers to consider a holiday at one of the nation’s most beautiful outer island, Espiritu Santo, after it escaped relatively unscathed by the storm.
Espiritu Santo is known for Champagne Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful, white sand beaches, turquoise blue holes, impressive scuba diving sites and friendly people.
According to reports, resorts sustained very minimal damage and are open for business.
Air Vanuatu runs direct flights from Brisbane to Espiritu Santo once weekly and some domestic flights from Port Vila to Espiritu Santo are now up and running again.
Regular updates on flight schedules are being posted on www.airvanuatu.com.
As for the rest of Vanuatu, the reports of widespread damage from both Port Vila and Tanna means a number of resort properties may not be able to accommodate travellers booked. People booked to travel to these areas in the coming month are being advised to consider postponing their travel until later in the year.
Vanuatu Tourism Australia Director, Sarah Anderson, said while there are reports some properties in Port Vila are open for business, the reality is that the attractions and activities that form such a vital part of a holiday in Vanuatu are not and won’t be operational for a few weeks at least.
“The priority remains to get much needed aid to the communities of the islands badly affected by the cyclone and so we are advising anyone with travel booked to Port Vila or Tanna to postpone at this stage,” Anderson added.
However those with travel booked to the island of Espiritu Santo, should proceed with their holiday as planned because the island is in good condition and open and for business, according to Anderson.
Details on which Port Vila properties are open for business can be found at www.discovervanuatu.com.au/tropical-cyclone-pam-vanuatu-hotel-update/
Reports from resorts on Espiritu Santo state:
Bokissa Private Island Resort: No structural damage.
Oyster Island Resort: Minimal damage. Resort has power and is open.
Barrier Beach House: Minor damage.
Ratua Private Island: Minimal damage. The resort will not be accepting any arrivals on or before 27 March, 2015. For any guests travelling in this period they will waive any cancellation fees. The resort is currently assessing the situation for those travelling after 27 March, 2015 although they envisage the resort to be operational by then.
Village de Santo: Open for business.
Moyyan House by the Sea: No damage. Operating as normal.
More information will be shared on a regular basis as it becomes available.
For general updates follow the Vanuatu Tourism Australia Facebook page www.facebook.com/VanuatuAus
Enquiries regarding Australian residents currently in Vanuatu can call the DFAT hotline: 1300 555 135.