A TAFEA Agritourism Ambassador and President of the Vanuatu Agritourism Association Benson Samuels stated “I’ve always had so many ideas but wasn’t sure where to start and how to develop them further, being part of the Vanuatu Agritourism Association and going through all the training has given me the tools to develop my agritourism experience and support others in the association to developed theirs. The Vanuatu Agritourism Association is not only providing a supporting network within Vanuatu it’s also linked us up with other regional countries and now we are getting global exposure”.
A SANMA Agritourism ambassador Ina Wells stated “Our group of Food Tourism and Agritourism Ambassadors are walking the talk, we are on the ground making these changes in our businesses and communities despite all the challenges we are faced with. We can only give our deepest gratitude to Mr Jerry Spooner for his vision and especially EDF 11 for funding this initiative. I also know I speak on behalf of all the ambassadors when I say a special thank you to Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative team whose perseverance is second to none. You all stood up for us, empowered us and never made us feel like victims, we can only salute you for your steadfast commitment to positive change for Vanuatu. May God Richly bless you all”.
Dr Cherise Addinsall – agritourism advisor supported by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) – stated: “Vanuatu’s approach to Agritourism through the Food Tourism and Agritourism Initiative is helping to communicate to development partners a clear pathway for agritourism development while supporting agritourism operators to further develop their products to meet tourists’ expectations and support more local meaningful involvement in tourism. As part of the work we are doing through ACIAR we are supporting the establishment, strengthening and capacity building of Agritourism Associations in Fiji and Vanuatu to provide locally led platforms for agritourism operators to advocate and connect to Government and donors and we are particularly impressed with the progress from the Vanuatu Government in both policy and implementation to support food tourism and agritourism experiences and I commend Vanuatu for being so innovative in this new approach”.