Richard Butler | Exclusive Report by VN NEWS | JAN 22nd, 2024

APPRAISING SANTO AIRPORT PROJECT: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Saudi Fund for Development technical team had a good discussion with the senior advisors at the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. Thank you Dr Hililan(RBV) and Advisor Simon Tiwok(Head of Policy Formulation and Coordination-RBV) for the insightful discussion on key factors regarding the affairs of Vanuatu’ economy and financial status. Tourism is a key influencer in our economy, and the Santo Airport Project will unleash the big impact on large to small scale tourism project, improves air trade of Vanuatu product, attract foreign investment, create a wealth of benefits for all sectors for nothern provinces and whole of Vanuatu.

All of this follows the visit to Saudi Arabia by our Prime Minister, August 2022, and the visit by the Saudi Arabian tourism minister to vanuautu approximately 4 months ago in 2023.


So the concept is to make the nearby Santa Island 100 km from Malekula airport International hub With 6 to 8 Gateways so that international flights could fly directly into vanuautu and then share out to the other islands of Vanuatu, including Malekula of course but to Fiji, Samoa Solomon Islands Papua New Guinea, then onto New Zealand in Australia so flights could come in from Japan South Korea China, Malaysia, Singapore Thailand, Philippines.

China, alone stated just out of Southern China, airlines they could do flights almost daily when they opened up the Island nation of Palau, it was one flight a week and it finished up being 10. It was so successful that the president of Palau had to tell them to cut back.

He couldn’t handle the number of Tourists coming.