The one where Carnival Australia assisted the South Pacific…

Mystery Island - Photo Courtesy of P&O Cruises

Carnival Australia has welcomed initiatives designed to assist in the growth of economic opportunities for island communities in the South Pacific.

On the back of increased cruise ship visits to the region, the initiatives include support for a shore tours business venture in Mystery Island along with associated activities in this southern most section of the Vanuatu archipelago.

“The South Pacific is now at the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets with 120 cruises carrying a combined total of 195,000 passengers schedule for 2013 alone,” said Ann Sherry, CEO Carnival Australia.

“P&O Cruises has been sailing to the South Pacific for nearly 80 years but we have recognised that the traditional business model of sailing to the region with thousands of passengers and then simply taking them home again is unsustainable in the long term.”

Carnival Australia will continue to work alongside Australian Government’s AusAID, the Enterprise Challenge Fun and Australian Business Volunteers in a shared goal of enhancing the South Pacific’s economic growth.

Plans include the upgrading of local infrastructure to accommodate cruise ships and assist island communities to develop tourism related business ventures.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s regional assistance program is supporting a shore tours business developed by the Aneityum community in Southern Vanuatu with expectations that other island communities will follow suit with a similar business model.

“NZAid’s welcome support will enable to recruitment of a general manager to take the Aneityum community’s shore tours venture to the next exciting level of development,” said Ms Sherry.

“The general manager role will be to bring together all facets of the Mystery Island initiative so that the Aneityum community can benefit from its full economic potential. Year one of the three-year appointment will focus on developing the business model while years two and three will concentrate on transferring skills to the local community.”

Carnival Australia also welcomes talks between New Zealand and Australian maritime authorities to undertake hydrographic surveys to update old navigational charts of the region, some which currently date back to the earliest days of European discovery in the South Pacific.

Originally published on e-Travel Blackboard.

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