Executive Summary: Agritourism Product Development and Business Support Program
The Department of Tourism (DoT) is seeking to build tourism back better guided by our Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (2019-2030) on the Nufala Rod Blong Turism. DoT see's that planning and consideration must be done respectfully and be centred around the wellbeing of our destination communities. To support wellbeing and resilience we must ensure that our communities and destination are participating in tourism in a meaningful way. As part of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy (2021-2025) the Department of Tourism is supporting in the development of 'Agritourism experiences'. The DoT does not see agritourism as a niche form of tourism, we see it as a sustainable management and behaviour change strategy to better connect Vanuatu's communities, farmers, and agribusinesses. Its a social revolution to support the Slow Food Principles and improve the wellbeing of our people based on our core values: land, custom, family, community, Kaikai and time to spend connecting to these.
By developing agritourism experiences we can:
Connect both local and international visitors to our productive sector to increase sales and create new markets
Increase local and community participation and management of the productive sector and tourism
Improve health outcomes and lower Non Communicable Diseases through educational experiences of local cuisine and traditional food heritage
Protect traditional knowledge in farming and food preparation
Decolonise Vanuatu's food and tourism systems
Lessen dependancy on tourism through diversification
The Agritourism Product Development and Business Support Program is under Theme 3 Diversification: through Produktif Turism Blong Yumi Initative of the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy (2021-2025). The criteria for entry into the Agritourism Product Development and Business Support Program are aligned to the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (2019-2030) objectives and criteria for membership into the Vanuatu Agritourism Association.
These criteria are specifically identifying agritourism businesses that meet the definition of agritourism* for Vanuatu and have: shown resilience through adaptation of their business model; implemented strategies to retain as many staff as possible; addressed the over dependence on imported goods and services; improved waste management practices; and are showing or seeking to implement a shift to renewable energy infrastructure. Please note that not all agritourism businesses in Vanuatu will qualify for the Agritourism Product Development and Business Support Program, therefore it is vital that businesses detail as clearly as possible why they should be selected as part of the program.
Specific Criteria for Initial Assessment
1. Hold a current Business Licence and Tourism Permit
2. Certificate of registration of business
3. Sign a Code of Conduct supporting the VSTP sustainable tourism principles and goals
4. Engage in relevant training programs e.g. SBO, Business planning, and Financial Literacy
Please be honest in your responses and provide as much information as possible. If your agritourism business qualifies for the the Agritourism Product Development and Business Support Program the Department of Tourism will be requesting documented evidence to support your application.
*Definition of Agritourism for Vanuatu
Tourism is not your primary business, it is a form of commercial enterprise to attract visitors onto a farm, or agribusiness for the purpose of educating and facilitating a deeper connection to Vanuatu’s productive sector. Agritourism experiences can consist of:
Educational and immersive tours of sustainable, regenerative and traditional farming;
Cooking demonstrations or classes in traditional or local cuisine;
Educational and immersive tours of value addition in local and organic sustainable produce
Food experiences and festivals
The criteria for entry into the Vanuatu Agritourism Association is to support the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (2019-2030) and Slow Food Principles in your business, community and households.
Agritourism Businesses will support the Slow Food Principles by:
Supporting a sustainable, organic and regenerative productive sector;
Purchase produce locally where possible and in season;
Ensure food production does not impact negatively on the environment;
Protect the rights of animals and sustainably harvest;
Support nutritional diversity, innovation and creativity in local cuisine;
Protect and promote traditional cultural heritage in farming and food preparation;
Ensure that all actors in Vanuatu's productive sector are paid and treated fairly;
Support in the decolonisation of Vanuatu's productive and tourism sectors