VANUATU > FACTS ABOUT THE VISITORS
Vanuatu international entry port is Bauerfield, set only 10 minutes drive from
Port Vila. Steeping out from the plane, visitors to Vanuatu can exchange their
currency in the counter provided in the airport, while for instant leisure,
bars/ restaurants and duty free shops are available. People over 12 years old
are charged the VUV 2,800 Passenger Service Charge , and VUV 400 for domestic,
which are included in airfares. Meanwhile the Departure Tax is VT2500 for international
flights and VT250 for domestic flights, in which they are also included in air
Air Vanuatu which is presented by Qantas worldwide serve flight to Port
Vila from Auckland in New Zealand; Sydney and Brisbane in Australia; Nadi in
Fiji; Noumea in New Caledonia and Honiara in the Solomon Islands. Aircalin also
offers a direct flight service to Vanuatu.
IMMIGRATION TO VANUATU
Immigration Orders which are applied in the Immigration Act (Cap 66) governs
the entry to and residence in Vanuatu. Foreigners to Vanuatu tend for not just
a short vacation or business visit is firmly controlled. However, the legal
permit to enter or reside are usually issued for those who can positively contribute
something to the Vanuatu's development.
The Visitors Permits on arrival may be issued for persons tend to visit Vanuatu
for a holiday or to see relatives or for reasons of business. (where such business
is not located in Vanuatu). This legal issue provided they are in possession
of a definite onward or return ticket and they have adequate funds to support
themselves. The validity of a Visitor Permit may be extended to a maximum period
of four months, but cannot be extended further, and visitors are not permitted
to engage in any business or employment during their stay. Please note that
the applications for Residence Permits from persons entering Vanuatu as Visitors
CANNOT BE CONSIDERED.
Residence Permits are usually issued for one year in the first occurrence, and
the initial fee is VT 20,000. The Residence Permits may be renewed provided
the conditions under which they were first issued remain the same, and the fee
for subsequent annual renewal is also VT 20,000. The non-refundable fees are
to be paid when submitting the form of application. Residence Permits for limited
periods may be renewed to expatriate where authority, by way of a Work Permit,
is given for them to be employed on contract by local employers, in occupations
where there are not enough Ni-Vanuatu available. Work Permits are usually issued
for employer who takes encouraging deed to instruct Ni-Vanuatu to fill job engaged
by expatriates. Residence Permits may also be issued to persons who wish to
invest in a business in Vanuatu where agreement from such business legalised
by the Ministry of Finance,
LONG TERM PERMITS
Major Investors or Retirees - Those wishing to be considered for 15 years permits
must show evidence certified by a Vanuatu Bank or Lawyer of a minimum financial
investment of 100 million vatu (this investment may include the value of Vanuatu
real estate). For a 10 year permit, the investment must be not less than 50
million vatu. Major investors or retirees wishing to be legalised for 15 years
permits must show verification certified by a Vanuatu Bank or Lawyer of a minimum
financial investment of 100 million vatu, and for a 10 year permit, the investment
must be not less than 50 million vatu. Meanwhile, minor investors must show
verification proving that their investment is not less than 20 million vatu
to be considered for a 5 year permit. Investors whose investment is not less
than 10 million vatu may be considered for a 3 year permit
LONG TERM PERMIT FEES
The processing fee for all long term permits is VT 50,000 which includes the
first year. For each following year the fee is VT 20,000, thus the total fees
for a 15 year permit are VT 330,000, for a 10 year permit is VT 230,000, for
a 5 year permit is VT 130,000 and for a 3 year permit is VT 90,000. All fees
payable in advance and not refundable.
Visitors from all commonwealth countries, Belgium, Denmark, Eire, Fiji, France
and its dominions, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Philippines,
Taiwan, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, and most countries do not visas.
But, a valid on going or return airline is required. Beside that, a valid passport
for four months beyond the intended stay is also obliged.
Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Visitors wish for private journey
can hire 4WDs or jeeps. Metered taxis are abundant, while some may agree for
fixed rate. There are no public transport systems in Vanuatu. Privately owned
mini buses are common and run unspecified routes through the municipal areas.
It is ordinary for a driver to offer passengers a comparable rate to the bus.
Look for the letter 'B' next to the front licence plate and simply flag one
down and tell the driver where you want to go. Inter-island travel is mainly
by air. Air Vanuatu operates to all major islands in the country and has daily
flights from Bauerfield airport, Port Vila.
Legal certificate from the country of origin required for some items brought
to Vanuatu. Therefore, all food, fruits, animal products and plants must be
declared upon entry into Vanuatu, though many such items are legally allowed.
Some artifacts require a quarantine certificate which is issued in Vanuatu and
accepted in most foreign countries. However, most smooth wooden artifacts, shells,
and even some grass skirts can be brought into Australia and New Zealand. Some
stuffs like turtle, giant clam and trumpet shell can be purchased in the markets,
despite of the fact that most countries have banned their import due to the
signatory of the CITES agreement, so caveat emptor.
Despite of the general condition of Vanuatu which is safe, many area, such in
outer islands remain adventurous. This refers to the particular circumstance
when the volcanoes are closed, planes cannot land due to the grubby airstrips,
and the domestic flights delayed, scuba dives cancelled due to cyclones, etc.
Thus, travel insurance is strongly recommended prior to departure.
The Post Office and Telecom Vanuatu serve all postage, collector stamps, fax
and phone call. They are open Monday to Friday, 7.30am - 11.30am and 1.30am
- 4.30pm, and remain open during lunchtime on cruise ship days. There are Internet
cafés in Port Vila and Santo. Radio Vanuatu serves trilingual broadcasts
throughout the country from 6am to 10pm, while the local TV is on daily from
4.30pm to 11.30pm. The country's national paper are the Vanuatu Weekly (trilingual)
and the Trading Post (English), issued twice weekly.
The country of Vanuatu utilizes a world wide satellite communication to run
the 24 hours telephone, fax, email and web access. Post office and resorts provide
telephone, telex and fax services, while the Internet cafés can be found
in the main street.
CONSULATE/ EMBASSIES OFFICES
· Consulate Offices/Embassies: Australian High Commission, PO Box 111,
Port Vila, phone (678) 22 777, fax (678) 23 948.
· British High Commission, PO Box 567, Port Vila, phone (678) 23 100,
fax (678)23 651.
· French Embassy, PO Box 60, Port Vila, phone (678) 22 353, fax (678)
· NZ High Commission, PO Box 161, Port Vila, phone (678) 22 933, fax
(678) 22 518.
· Embassy of the People's Republic of China, PMB 071, Port Vila, phone
(678) 23 598, fax (678) 24 877.
The currency used is the Vatu, while foreign currency is readily transacted,
except in a few areas in Luganville (Santo). Fluctuations occur everyday, but
the standard approximation is 100 vatu = AU$1.29 and US$0.80. Travellers cheques
or cash are easily converted into the local currency during the visit and can
be exchanged when leaving at the airport.
SPORT AND RECREATION
Vanuatu's gorgeous nature allows a wide range of watersports, such as swimming,
kayaking, jetskiing, sailing, scenic cruises, reef and wreck diving, as well
as the big game fishing. Some sport facilities, including golf courses, tennis
courts, fitness centers, jazzercize classes and squash courts are available
in Port Vila. More adventurous sports like horse riding, cycling, a nature walk
through the bush or a river are also another options. In addition, visitors
should not miss the flighseeing tours to view the aerial outlook of Vanuatu's
Vanuatu offers exciting reef and wrecks dives for the diving lovers, no matter
they are novice or experienced divers. It hosts one of world's most sought after
dives, The President Coolidge - which is recommended only for well-experienced
divers. Meanwhile, they are several 'beginners friendly' diving sites around
the Vanuatu islands, including:
Dive sites include:
TWIN BOMBIES - A variety of fish playing around the two bombora formations
and a sheer wall, will welcome you in this diving site. Divers can enjoy the
grottos and coral, just 10 metres on top of the reef to 18 metres over the drop-off.
FILA ISLAND REEF - Situated only 15 minutes from the dive base. With a depth
of 6 to 15 metres, it features a range of colourful coral enliven by the school
of colourful small fishes
LACKSANDS REEF AND CAVES - With a 8 - 14 metres depth, this diving site features
a series of interlocking caves and swim-through tunnels honeycombing the reefs,
cheered up by a variety of fish and rays on the sandy bottom.
MELE REEF - A wide-ranging reef rising up amidst Mele Bay to around 6 metres
from the surface, offering lots of diving sites
CATHEDRAL - An enchanting dive in a gigantic grotto off the Pango cape to 26
metres, where rays of light create extraordinary upshots. Discover the richness
of the deep open ocean by can swimming through to the back and up a 'chimney'
to a large pool on the surface inside the reef - then back to the outside and
along the wall.
OLLIES LOLLY - This diving site is great for photography. The large bommie
starting at 9 metres and set near hideaway island, featuring a range of hard
and soft corals and mass of large and small fish
KONANDA - This fabulous site would be an ideal introduction to the fun of wreck
diving. Sets on a flat sandy bottom at 26 metres reaching up to within ten metres
of the surface.
STAR OF RUSSIA - This impressive old sailing ship was built by Harlan and Wolff
of Belfast who also built the Titanic. It sized 80 metres long and 13 metres
wide and down 33 metres in the Port Vila Harbour. Divers can swim through the
body of the ship, swim up the three huge ship's mast, around the romantic, shapely
bow and explore the wheel, rudder and anchor machinery.
TASMAN - This different diving site features a bulky plane of Qantas S26 Sandringham
Flying Boat, with a wingspan of over 30 metres. This plane was first to cross
the Tasman Sea from Auckland to Sydney in under eight hours. The dive begins
at the tail, down over the body to the nose where divers can climb through the
cockpit window and out the other side.
SEMLE FEDERSEN - This trading vessel was sunk along the Pango coast in Mele
Bay in 1985. It is now a home for various sea plants and animals. The visibility
here is about 60 meters, in which the whole ship can be seen at a glimpse while
moving down the connecting line.
Regular entertainments are usually presented in hotels and night clubs which
open till late. Regular Melanesian cultural shows are also available, while
The Office Pub and Club Vanuatu have cable sports channels on screen. In the
evenings men drink kava at local kava bars or Nakamals, and visitors can gamble
at Palm Casino of Le Meridien Resort, Club 21 of Melanesian Resort and at Club
WHAT TO WEAR
Dress comfortably light and casual, but brief clothing should not be worn in
public places. For evening wear, tropical clothes are recommended. A sweater
or lightweight jacket seem suitable for June/ July's evenings.
Vanuatu's time is one hour ahead of AST (Australian Standard Time) and 11 hours
ahead of GST (Greenwich Standard Time or UT), while there is no daylight saving
The National Tourism Office is open from 7.30 - 11.30 and 1.30pm - 4.30, Monday
to Friday each week. General office hours are 8.00pm until 11.30am, paused by
siesta until 1.30, and then it opens again until it close at 5.00pm. Tour companies
and many shops are open at 7.30 until 5pm, while larger supermarkets are open
until 7.00pm. Most shops are open on Saturday mornings and some open on Sunday
Driving is on the right hand side of the road, within a speed limit of 50km/
hours in Vila and Luganville. Be cautious of people or animals on the rural
areas' roads. 4WDs are recommended for traveling outside the town, instead of
the hirable scooters, cars and four-wheel drive vehicles. International driving
license as well as most national licenses are acceptable.
Foreign cash, travellers cheques and major international credit cards, such
as: Amex, Diners, JCB, Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted. Shops are generally
open from 8am to 11.30am and 1.30pm to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and Saturday
morning 8am to 12 noon. Most shops close during the middle day for siesta, although
restaurants, cafes, banks, supermarkets and the Post Office do not observe siesta.
Supermarkets and some specialty stores open on Sunday morning and suburban general
stores open early to late seven days a week. The country's only duty-free shops
set in Vila, while the colourful market in the town centre runs every day except
Sundays for flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.
The plentiful supply of fresh local fish, beef, fruit and vegetables makes dining
become a highlight in Vanuatu. Top class restaurants serve a range of cuisine,
such as Melanesian, Polynesian, Indian, Thai-Vietnames, English and Japanese
Local tradition does not allow tipping and bargaining, since Vanuatu's civilized
behaviour consider a smile and a thank you as the best tips. Should you would
like to express your gratefulness for the satisfying services, it would be better
to express it in some other ways rather than giving a tip. You might send a
postcard or perhaps a T-shirt from your country. It is neither expected nor
necessary, but highly appreciated.
220-230 volts AC, mainly three-point plugs in hotels. Two pin round plug adapters
are readily available.
· January 1st - New Year's Day
· February 21st - Father Lini Day
· March 5th - Custom Chief's Day
· May 1st - Labour Day
· May 24th - Ascension Day
· July 24th - Children's Day
· July 30th - Independence Day
· August 15th - Assumption Day
· October 5th - Constitution Day
· November 29th - Unity Day
· December 25th - Christmas
· December 26th - Family Day
Location Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters
of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates 16 00 S, 167 00 E
Map references Oceania
Area total: 14,760 sq km
land: 14,760 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands
Area - comparative slightly larger than Connecticut
Coastline 2,528 km
Climate tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds
Terrain mostly mountains of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes lowest point:Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resources manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use arable land:2%
forests and woodland:75%
other:11% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Natural hazards tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanism
causes minor earthquakes
Environment - current issues a majority of the population does not have access
to a potable and reliable supply of water; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
party to:Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified:none of the selected agreements
Economy - The economy is based primarily on subsistence or small-scale agriculture
which provides a living for 65% of the population.
GDP purchasing power parity - $245 million (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate NA%
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,300 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:24%
services:63% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.9% (1998 est.)
Labor force NA
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 65%, services 32%, industry 3% (1995
Unemployment rate NA%
Budget revenues: $94.4 million
expenditures:$99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million
Industries food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Industrial production growth rate 1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production 32 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:100%
Electricity - consumption 30 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, coconuts,
fruits, vegetables; fish, beef
Exports $33.8 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Exports - commodities copra, beef, cocoa, timber, coffee
Exports - partners Japan 32%, Germany 14%, Spain 8%, New Caledonia 7%, Australia
2% (1997 est.)
Imports $76.2 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners Japan 52%, Australia 20%, New Caledonia, Singapore, New Zealand,
France, Fiji (1997 est.)
Debt - external $48 million (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient $45.8 million (1995)
Currency 1 vatu (VT) = 100 centimes
Exchange rates vatu (VT) per US$1 - 129.76 (December 1999), 129.08 (1999), 127.52
(1998), 115.87 (1997), 111.72 (1996), 112.11 (1995)
Fiscal year calendar year