Vanuatu Hotels (John & Silvana) - your local connection in Vanuatu!
John and Silvana Nicholls are the proud owners and operators of Vanuatu Hotels (Est. 2005), Vanuatu's premier inbound travellers service. John's 30 years of Hotel and Resort Management career throughout the world is coupled with Silvana's 28 years extensive administration and computer career. An RMIT graduate, Silvana specialises in tourism.
They decided to make Vanuatu their home after managing two resorts in the country; one in Tanna Island and the other in Port Vila. A deep attachment and respect for the people of Vanuatu and an uncompromising commitment to the protection of the country's natural heritage is at the core of their personal and business philosophy (see the travel blog)
Silvana or ‘Silv' as she is affectionately known around here, speaks English and Italian. Silv is Director of reservations, computer services, administration and accounts department. In her spare time, Silv advises indigenous operators in their business administration and website maintenance.
John speaks English and French. John's passion is photographing the people and the islands of Vanuatu. These images are supplied to all that promote the destination. John is Director of Product Development, Sales & Marketing and Strategic Planning.
They provide a free hospitality advisory service to the indigenous people. Both are very active in the development of Vanuatu Tourism. They also operate the only Standby Accommodation service in the country (est. 2004) and operate the Vanuatu Hotels Inbound service (est. 2005); a trade only facility to travel operators throughout the world representing Vanuatu.
"We feel very fortunate to have discovered our piece of paradise, and have found a sense of purpose in Vanuatu that could not be found in our past 'Westernised' life: We have been given the rare opportunity to be part of something greater than our finite life; to contribute to the development of the economic and social future of a nation!' The minute we read WHL's core values back in 2005, we were sold. We knew this is what we wanted for our beloved Vanuatu.
After a life in hospitality management spread over three continents, witnessing the abuse of human and natural resources in numerous destinations, and seeing that resorts and hotels were increasingly interested to provide ever better facilities and services to tourists that were less and less interested in the destinations but more about opulence and excessive self-indulgence, made me realize that although I loved Tourism, somewhere along, I had taken a wrong turn... Silv and I sought and needed to find a place that pre dated the "me, me, me" tourism. Where exploring, learning, and interacting with the local culture of a new found destination was the purpose to travel. We found our place, our islands in the sun, it was still pristine, an ecological and cultural haven. Now we happily spend our time and resources to preserve this country's unique cultural and environmental heritage by introducing WHL's sensitive approach to tourism, which is dedicated to the protection and respect of the individual and his/her environment.
However, sustainable tourism practices are only adopted when they are well understood and not seen as a hindrance to tourism operators, hence accurate, objective information must be made available to all. With the help of WHL and the IFC community, we have made this a core objective of our business. Sustainable tourism will not be adopted overnight; it will take time to reach high community engagement. It is an ongoing process that will continue way beyond our generation. Our children will benefit and continue looking after the planet we bequeath to them. For our part, we are fully committed to the following activities in Vanuatu:
* Promoting Sustainable Tourism as a profit oriented business model in order to encourage the adoption of its principles. Tourism operators have to naturally perceive a monetary and an emotional benefit in order to participate. Changing Sustainable Tourism as a scientific idealism to a positive, active, and permanent community mindset.
* As you may know, Vanuatu Hotels is a member of the World Hotel network, a global community comprising of hundreds of local travel operators and other like other minded travel organisations that work with whl.travel. This global community shares a commitment to connecting with responsible travellers around the world about the great places in which we live.
In doing so, we emphasise the importance of protecting our local environment, heritage and culture upon which we are building a sustainable and viable future to be cherished by our children and many generations of travellers. We'd love for you to join us by submiting your views and questions or simply reading great tips from others travellers.
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* Seek local celebrities to champion and promote the cause through their art.
* Obtain greater participation from local media towards supporting Sustainable Tourism developments.
* Highlight people and businesses using alternative energy i.e. micro hydro schemes (Epi Island Guesthouse), coconut fuel (Motor Traders), those recycling (Recycled Water Treatment, Iririki Island Resort), those saving wildlife i.e., Turtles (Tranquillity Island Resort), and those helping the less fortunate (Seachange Lodge) to name a few.
* Obtain support from major tourism stakeholders in the country to promote the message of responsible tourism to people arriving and travelling throughout Vanuatu.
* Assist local tourism associations, such as: Vanuatu Hotels & Resorts Association (VHRA), Vanuatu Tour Operators Association (VTOA), Dive Operators Association (DOA), Tafea Tourism Council (TTC), Espiritu Santo Tourism Association (ESTA), on how to improve Sustainable Tourism practices amongst their members.
* Seek financial sponsorship (global aid donors) to develop micro infrastructure facilities assisting outer island sustainable tourism i.e., wind, solar and hydro energy scheme.
* Seek and dialogue with travellers that want their holiday expenditure to make a difference to the destination they are visiting.
* Provide a Vanuatu advisory and facilitator service to Foreign Organizations who invest in Sustainable Tourism ventures.
But, the indispensable driver of Sustainable Tourism lies in the co-operation of government departments which we are actively co-operating with, such as the National Tourism Development Office (NTDO), and the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO)..
We invite, and make ourselves available to any individual or organization which thinks in kind."
- Thank you, John and Silvana.
What we can do for YOU:
We are all unique with different needs and wants, that's why we concentrate on you - the individual; we built our business around your needs from day one. No marketing to the masses or herd tourism, we will leave that to others. At Vanuatu Hotels, you deal directly with people that care, on the ground in the country, not a database on the other side of the world espousing bewildering claims of a country they have never ever been to and only promote for company profit. Vanuatu Hotels has, and always will represent only Vanuatu, reinvesting all its energy, finance into the development of the country and it's people, where it's needed most.
You will discover, like so many fellow travellers how the internet has made travel so much easier and has brought us closer. Think of us as your personal travel partner/facilitator saving you money and time in the country you're visiting.
As our past travellers testify, with us it's personal, there is no other way.
After you try us, and our sister sites throughout the world, you will never look back on the old ways of travelling.
Why so? We did our research and listed all the annoying bugs about booking hotels and travel services in our competitors sites, and either ensure we did not repeat them or for the essential, minimized them to a negligible annoyance factor ensuring a hassle free travel experience...See how we fare and tell us where to improve.
· No Credit Card fees added to your booking - We don't like it being done to us, so we don't want it being done to you. We include every tax, levy and bank fee...no surprises waiting for you.
· No late booking fees - Don't get the reason why a traveller should be penalised based on the time they make their booking?
· No restrictive booking conditions - We are not going to make you jump through loops to make a booking. You see it, want it, inform us and it's done.
· No complicated Cancellation Policy - No one can predict the future, so we have reduced it to a strict minimum where absolutely necessary, all fees of this nature from our site.
· Choice - We have been choice leaders from day one, and continue to search/register more accommodation and tours every month throughout all the islands of Vanuatu. We hold on average around 60 accommodation properties for you to choose from. Double our nearest competitor.
- No price fixing - we will not represent or collude with any operator that partakes in this deplorable, yet increasing practice in the tourism industry.
· Authenticity - Every accommodation provider on our site has been personally inspected, photographed and written up by us. NOT by the supplier. As we live here, we regularly update the information on our site as it evolves.
· Honesty - As we are not a computer data generated service on the other side of the world, our information is not ‘cut and pasted' from other sites or imagined (and often incorrect). It is written with objectivity, and with you in mind, our duty of care and responsibility is to you, not the hotel. Unlike some competitors, Vanuatu Hotels is not affiliated with any hotel, resort chain or other tourism company, therefore does not have any vested interest in promoting or encouraging bookings to selected "preferred" accommodation providers. Every property on the site is provided the same due diligence regardless of who they are. We are paid by you our client, not the hotel. Therefore, you're our prime concern.
· Free - Yes, it's free for all Vanuatu operators to be on Vanuatu Hotels, that way all the little guys have the same chance to be found by you, as many do not have websites, or a computer, or may have language problems, or have no electricity. For many, we are their only source of income as no one else will bother representing them, because they do not generate sufficient commissions for an agent. By booking with Vanuatu Hotels, you are directly assisting us to assist them. And yes, contrary to the grossly inaccurate information found on some mediums such as the outdated and now defunct "Rocket Guide to Vanuatu" and other naive productions, we often lose money by selling these bungalows, as the processing cost is far higher than the commission generated from the booking. But these indigenous operators have to start somewhere and that's where the www.whl.travel ideology kicks in.
Here you will also find the largest range of images on accommodation in Vanuatu found anywhere in the world with an easy to use booking service. From the largest up market hotels and resorts to the smallest family operated boutique resort and humble native island guesthouse.
Each and every place represented on this website is well known by us. The site is upgraded regularly with genuine bargains, some unique to us.
Regardless of holiday expectations, be it searching for that romantic tropical dream, or just time together as a family, or to explore another lifestyle totally different from your own. We are here to assist you in finding the right accommodation for you and your budget in order for you to discover our Vanuatu.
Out of respect to your intelligence, this site is intentionally free of the habitual razzle dazzle, bells and whistles marketing embellishment.
There are no hidden costs i.e. all rates on this site include all taxes, fees, etc. Beware of so called ‘best rates' advertised as they inevitably exclude all these costs, or simply don't exist in real life, it's a marketing ploy used by unscrupulous operators to bait you to contact them and upsell you something else. We are committed to ensuring you have current and honest information in order to make your decision. This way, we can better meet your expectations, delivering you a trouble free vacation and hopefully depart with a tear in your eye and a heart full of memories.
Have fun on our site, see our comprehensive Country and Destination Guides, and please ask us about Vanuatu, things that only a local would know. When in Vanuatu, you are only a local phone call away: 24444, open 08:00am to 10:00pm, 7 days a week for you to contact us direct on any travel matters.
The hardest decision you will have to make is which accommodation to choose. Once you have done that, make your booking enquiry; and we will take care of the rest.
Vanuatu Hotels was chosen by the WHL group to be their local operator in Vanuatu, and has received valuable support in developing this accommodation booking portal from the World Bank / IFC managed PEP-Pacific (Private Enterprise Partnership - Pacific). PEP-Pacific is committed to supporting development and growth of private, domestically-owned small and medium enterprises (SME) in the Vanuatu tourism and hospitality industry.
PEP-Pacific offers direct services and assistance to SME's and the individuals or institutions such as Vanuatu Hotels that serve them. It seeks to improve their business operating environment and promote a sustainable tourism industry in Vanuatu. PEP-Pacific previously known as PEDF (Pacific Enterprise Development Facility) was founded in 1990 and funded by five donors: Asian Development Bank, Australia, International Finance Corporation, Japan, and New Zealand.
Vanuatu Hotels is a Carbon Neutral Business
Travel is a fantastic opportunity to experience how others live and engender tolerance plus make global friends. Independent, sustainable travel in particular can contribute enormously to local communities who need economic opportunities to develop their self reliance in a fast and inevitable approaching modern world, whilst leaving a negligible footprint on the environment. Overall, there are huge benefits of travelling.
We do have a personal responsibility to limit our impact on global warming. The impact of air travel is quite significant as it releases Carbon Dioxide, and as we know, one of the major causes of climate change - and lots of it. For example, two people taking a return flight between Europe and Vanuatu will contribute as much to climate change as an average household's gas and electricity consumption over a whole year. Even short haul traveling adds significant Carbon Dioxide pollution:
Sydney to Port Vila return 4,960km = 0.79 tonnes of CO2 per person
Brisbane to Port Vila return 3,760km = 0.60 tonnes of CO2 per person
Auckland to Port Vila return 4,480km = 0.72 tonnes of CO2 per person
Christchurch to Port Vila return 5,800km = 0.93 tonnes of CO2 per person
Noumea to Port Vila return 1,056km = 0.17 tonnes of CO2 per person
Making Vanuatu Hotels Carbon Neutral:
Vanuatu Hotels is only a very small part of the global sustainable travel industry although we recycle everything possible, compost all biodegradables and have minimized our energy consumption by installing electrical, and water saving devices, we still are individually responsible for producing CO2 emissions, so we have decided to offset our carbon emissions for our business and home. To repair the damage done, all our flights, office electricity, and car fuel used in the running of our business and home have been offset through a tree planting program with http://www.elementree.com.au/
Here's how we worked it out (per annum):
Flights - domestic/international 17,000 kms 2.73 tonnes
*Office electricity 500 kWh 0.44 tonnes
*Home electricity 500 kWh 0.44 tonnes
Car fuel 700 km 0.17 tonnes
Total Emission = 3.7 tonnes
Total offset through tree planting 15 trees per year (receipt EL-JU6MT91Q)
* Electricity consumption audit by: Rapid Electrical, Port Vila (authorized and registered electricians in Vanuatu)
We calculated the impact of our flights using a carbon calculator. It's pretty interesting (and frightening) to find out the impact of your own flights - hopefully you too will choose to offset your emissions. Here are some useful links from different Carbon Offset organizations:
US based - http://www.myclimate.org/
Our Vanuatu Country Guide will provide an array of information (added to regularly) about these exotic islands. If you cannot find what you're looking for, send us your enquiry and we will respond as quickly as possible. Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Governments, Universities, and Tourism Offices use our service. If you are interested in Vanuatu's events, and attractions, or things to do, click on Vanuatu City Guide and Vanuatu Tours.
It is good to have a friend that you can trust in the country you are visiting. Until we hear from you, we wish you all the best. If you've found this travel website useful, please tell your friends, TripAdvisor and other great travellers' Forums or link to us so that others can benefit from your discovery (see our "links" page)..