Globally there is a growing awareness of the opportunities and benefits of strengthening the links between agriculture and tourism. The Government of Vanuatu of Vanuatu and stakeholders from the tourism and agricultural sectors have recognised that agritourism has the potential to generate benefits for both sectors. Benefits include increased demand for local agricultural products, promotion of healthy and nutritious food, new and improved business and employment opportunities and income from value added tourism products.
Enhancing agriculture-tourism linkages capitalises on the ability of the tourism sector to diversify the local economy, stimulate investment and local business and assist in the wider development of rural communities.
The issue of strengthening the links between agriculture and tourism has been on the Vanuatu Government of Vanuatu agenda for some time. The goal to improve the value added from tourism is shared by Government of Vanuatu and other stakeholders in both the agriculture and tourism sectors.
The Vanuatu Agritourism Plan of Action
In response to the growing opportunities from agritourism, the Government of Vanuatu of Vanuatu (Government of Vanuatu) established an Agritourism Steering Committee (ASC) and with assistance from the New Zealand Aid Programme, initiated preparation of the Vanuatu Agritourism Plan of Action (VAPA).
The VAPA provides a framework for enhanced integration of tourism and the productive sectors including agriculture, fisheries and livestock. An Action Plan is included within this document showing priorities for implementation over the next five years.
TRIP Consultants prepared the VAPA based on a participatory planning approach that included:
- A review of existing literature on agritourism in Vanuatu and the Pacific region
- Analysis of related agritourism initiatives and workshops supported by the Government of Vanuatu and other stakeholders such as the New Zealand Aid Programme, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Pacific Islands PrivateSector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Pacific Community (SPC)
- Preparation and distribution to stakeholders of a Situation Analysis Report on Agritourism in Vanuatu (July 2016)
- Stakeholder consultation and site visits on Efate, Santo and Tanna, as well as consultation onthe initial recommendations at an Agritourism Planning Workshop (Port Vila – September 2016).