A category five cyclone was not enough to take the smile away from us.
The Vanuatu Tourism Office launched a campaign to tell the world ‘Vanuatu Still Smiles’ two weeks after Cyclone Pam.
Whilst 22 of Vanuatu’s 83 islands were badly affected by the category five storm, the Ni-Vanuatu people showed their resilience and got to work rebuilding straight away.
Alcina Charlie from the VTO set about photographing local people showing the world Vanuatu was very much open for business and ready to welcome tourists once again.
The campaign went viral and soon enough the tourists began to return to Port Vila.
Vanuatu’s largest island, Espiritu Santo was largely unaffected by Cyclone Pam, yet visitors cancelled or postponed holidays unaware it was business as usual. Thanks to social media, including Pacific Island Living’s own Facebook page, Santo set about telling the world not to delay holidays to the northern island, that they too were still smiling.
The aid relief was monumental and a very grateful Prime Minister also took to social media to tell the world ‘Tankiu Tumas’, photographed by Tess Newton-Cain for the PM’s office.
Whilst some hotels and resorts on Efaté and Tanna remain closed for repairs, many tours and restaurants are back.
For those of you visiting Vanuatu for the first time, welcome. For return guests, we say thank you – choosing Vanuatu as your holiday destination means the world to us.