Barrett & Partners Commissioned for Inter Island Cruise Feasibility Study

feasibility study

The NCTMC acts as the peak national body to manage, co-ordinate and supervise all aspects of cruise tourism development in Vanuatu and, when required, to advise the COM and represent the GOV in all matters pertaining to cruise tourism development and growth. It’s main role and function is to implement the recommended actions set out in the Vanuatu Sustainable Cruise Tourism Plan 2020. Action 12 of this plan was to develop an inter-island cruise shipping strategy to enable more access for tourists to the outer provinces.

The NCTMC has requested DoT to commission a consultant to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain whether a smaller expedition type cruise ship (50 to 200 passengers) could be home based in Port Vila to service both a domestic market and an international ‘fly-in and cruise’ product. The concept would be to offer a range of itineraries to cruise around the Vanuatu islands, thereby benefitting all 6 Provinces. The assumption is that this type of high value, low impact tourism product could be introduced once a Covid safe environment has been established and international borders are re-opened.

A Contract was signed on Tuesday 29th June 2021 between Mr. Jerry Spooner, Director of the Department of Tourism and Barrett and Partners, represented by Lindsay Barrett as Consultants

The Consultants will:

  • Undertake a feasibility study through a market and financial analysis, to ascertain the economic viability of such a concept.
  • Assess whether there is a business case for a Vanuatu based expedition ship to also cruise to other Pacific Islands (e.g. New Caledonia, Fiji), and possibly to Australia and New Zealand sometime in the future.
  • Evaluate the focus on authentic and diverse, soft adventure experiences in remote islands and villages, featuring Vanuatu’s cultural and natural tourism products.

The National Cruise Tourism Management Committee (NCTMC) was established by the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Ni-Vanuatu Business following the adoption of the Vanuatu Sustainable Cruise Tourism Plan. This plan is part of the Tourism Recovery Plan 2020 to 2023 and also forms part of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021 to 2025. This strategy is aligned with and guided by the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy 2019 to 2030 endorsed by COM in March 2019. All of these are, in turn, aligned to the objectives of the National Sustainable Development Plan (2016-2030), better known as The People’s Plan.

The study will be guided by the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism. These provide a policy and planning framework to reduce high leakages from tourism earnings, develop measures to minimise the negative impact of tourism on the environment and the traditional culture, increase benefits to local host communities, protect traditional knowledge, protect areas of high biodiversity value, and promote Ni Vanuatu employment and entrepreneurship.