Bungalow boom on Nguna Storian - the Vanuatu Aelan Walkabaot blog

By Stephen
January 2011

This website started in late 2003 and Nguna was the first island I visited. At that time there were three bungalows on the island: Vat-Vaka, Nakie and Siloa. Now there are eight in 2010 plus three on neighbouring Pele island and one on Emao.

Some of the bungalows on Nguna have been successful (Vat-Vaka comes to mind) and this encouraged others to have a go at tourism. Broadly, I would think that tourism has been positive for Nguna:

  • Ni-Vanuatu families are running their own business on their own land.
  • Tourism provides an additional income stream and people are not forced to go to Port Vila and accept a minimum wage job. All of the profits (and losses) go direct to the bungalow owners.
  • In many cases mamas are running things. Nguna women are quite industrious and I hope they get a fair share of the profits for their work.
  • People gain hands-on experience in running a business. I believe in letting people learn for themselves. Enuff wokshop nao ia!

On the other hand, I wonder how many bungalows are needed on Nguna and how many of those present are healthy businesses. Can tourism create competition and conflicts within communities? Jealousy? Are visitors still treated as welcome guests or sometimes a cash cow to be milked?

By putting Nguna on the internet, I think that Vanuatu Aelan Walkabaot has helped develop tourism on north Efate. If you're in Vila, pop over to north Efate and check it out. Tell us what you think and leave a comment below. Has tourism worked?

1 Comment | Comment on this article

Belinda wrote:
Just stayed on Pele (we appeared to be the only guests on the island at the time). Very happy to support the ni-Van people. Because communication is the difficulty - making a booking in advance for us westerners is a problem - Napanga on Pele go thru Evergreen, there is a family connection and Napanga work in with the daily tours to the island that Evergreen. I read an article that Volunteer Service Abroad wrote regarding tourism on the smaller island or out of PV areas, that villagers build a bungalow and just expect visitors to arrive. So assume that VSA are working in this area. Your website was a great help to me, but the communication to actually make a booking in advance is still an issue as the contacts seem to change - so I would suggest that a designated agent, probably in PV where electricity / communication is more consistent - be set up so that ALL bunglows can go through that one porthole. What do you think?
20 October 2011, 19:37

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