About Product Development

Product Development is the process of bringing a product to market. As such, it is an important process for turning a business idea such as accommodation or a tour into reality.

For any tourism business, this process means making the dream into reality with the finishing touches and value addition to the product so that it becomes marketable and sellable to the tourist for a satisfying experience and profitability at the end of the day.

The Product Development Division in the Department of Tourism is an important team player in this process as they assist all Tourism Operators, especially local Ni-Vanuatu Tourism Operators who are very new to the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

Under the Vanuatu Tourism Product Classification system, there are only three types of Product Categories, and they are:
1. Accommodation
2. Tourism Tours & Activities
3. Transportation

In order to carry out a successful Product to market, the Product Development Division works in collaboration with the Accreditation Division, Investment Division, and Provincial Managers and their Product Development Officers.

The Tourism Development Flow Chart, as seen below, is a clear step-by-step process developed in partnership with the Vanuatu Skills for Partnership (VSP) for Tourism Program in 2012. It starts with essential Client Contact and proceeds to Business Plan Development, and Information about Tourism Product Standards.

![Please insert Product Development Flowchart]

An average of six months is seen as a suitable timeframe for starting and completing a product, depending on its scale and target market. However, for any tourism business, the process of developing products is never-ending.

As part of the overarching vision of Vanuatu’s Sustainable Tourism Policy, which is "to protect and celebrate Vanuatu’s unique environment, culture, kastom, and people through sustainable and responsible tourism," the Department of Tourism collaborates with other government line agencies such as the Department of Environment, Live and Learn, Department of Forestry, just to name a few, to include Ecotourism.

What is ecotourism and why is it important?

First, what does ecotourism mean? To put it simply, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as:
'Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.'

Ecotourism is all about active nature tourism. It is a small-scale, low-impact form of travel that seeks to preserve the natural world by ensuring that biodiversity, ecosystems, and local communities remain protected and unspoiled. It is a rewarding and educational experience that improves our cultural awareness and understanding of nature. Ecotourism destinations tend to be fragile, untouched, and fairly preserved, such as islands, densely biodiverse reserves, and significant cultural landmarks.

The purpose of ecotourism is that it helps to preserve and foster respect for some of the most beautiful environments on Earth. Ecotourism is a sustainable way to travel, encouraging travelers to help protect the environment and contribute to local communities on a much deeper level than tourists just passing through. The more knowledge we have about the world, the better we can protect it from ourselves and climate change.

Examples of Eco Tourism Activities:

- Hiking e.g., Mele Cascades, Efate
- Lake Letas, Gaua & Millennium Cave, Santo
- Bird watching e.g., Chief Roimata’s Domain, Efate
- Loru Rainforest Protected Area, Santo
- Snorkeling e.g., Champagne Beach, Santo; Pele Island
- Kayaking e.g., Riri River Canoe Trip, Santo; Mele Beach
- Whale watching e.g., Lelepa & Nguna Island
- Camping e.g., Port Olry Tourism Zone, Santo; Pele Island
- Wildlife viewing e.g., EcoTours, Efate & Lake Garet Tour, Gaua Island

What are the principles of Ecotourism?

- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.

How does ecotourism help the environment?

One of the main benefits of ecotourism is that it reduces pollution and waste by promoting responsible use of natural resources. By limiting energy consumption, using renewable sources such as solar power, and avoiding single-use plastic, ecotourists help protect ecosystems from further damage.

**What is Agritourism?**

Agritourism for Vanuatu is the commercial value of linking agricultural production and/or processing with tourism by simply allowing tourists onto a farm, ranch, or other agricultural business for the purposes of entertaining or educating the visitors while generating income. A great example of Agritourism here in Vanuatu is Back to Eden.

The benefits of Agritourism include:
1. Educating visitors and the public about agriculture.
2. Preserving farms and farmland.
3. Sharing agricultural heritage and rural lifestyles with visitors.
4. Preserving rural heritage and traditions.
5. Generating additional income for farmers/landowners.
6. Providing local products and produce.

This idea then led to the Farm to Table Concept, which promotes serving local food at restaurants and school cafeterias, preferably through direct acquisition from the producer, which is the local farmers.
Department of Tourism
PMB 9099
George Pompidou Road Port Vila
Phone: (678) 33 400
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: tourism.gov.vu
Free Joomla templates by Ltheme