The Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative has made a significant positive impact on Ni Vanuatu throughout Vanuatu’s islands by creating opportunities to support adaptation and diversification through the development of Food Tourism and Agritourism experiences. This initiative is also having positive social, cultural, environmental and health impacts on Ni Vanuatu and further supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

It was an exciting year for Food Tourism and Agritourism in 2021 with the successful piloting of the now approved Prodaktif Turism Blong Yumi Initiative (Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative) which is funded by the European Development Fund (EDF 11) and supported by a number of key partners. The Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative has now supported the formation of the Vanuatu Agritourism Association and the National Agritourism Committee and the setup of the Vanuatu Agritourism Facebook page with over 10,000 members!

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A new Approach to Food Tourism and Agritourism in Vanuatu

The weak linkages between urban tourists and rural communities as revealed in tourism expenditure data was particularly disappointing especially given the degree of dependence of the industry on the stewardship of natural and cultural resources, these resources being key features which draw tourists to Vanuatu. While Vanuatu has had many ‘plans and strategies’ to better link the agriculture and tourism sectors prior to border closures we saw no meaningful advancements in this. Local suppliers actually stated that tourism businesses would always choose price over commitment to buying local produce and value added products even if the quality of local goods was higher.
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What is Food Tourism and Agritourism for Vanuatu?

Food tourism and Agritourism is not your primary business, it is a form of commercial enterprise to attract visitors onto a farm, or agribusiness for the purpose of educating and facilitating a deeper connection to Vanuatu’s productive sector and rural areas. Agritourism experiences can consist of:

• Educational and immersive tours of sustainable, regenerative and traditional farming
• Cooking demonstrations or classes in traditional or local cuisine
• Educational and immersive tours of value addition in local and organic sustainable produce.

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By developing Sustainable Food Tourism and Agritourism experiences Vanuatu can:

• Support food security
• Support the traditional economy and protect traditional knowledge
• Prevent Non-Communicable diseases by promoting healthy local food
• Keep more VATU in Vanuatu
• Provide more meaningful jobs
• Strengthen our rural communities
• And protect and regenerate our environment