August to Nov 2023: Pacific Yacht Tourism Study 

Sub-contracted as a Sustainable Tourism Planner through AMSTEC Pty. Ltd. (Aust) who were commissioned by the Market Development Facility, an Australian and New Zealand Government funding support agency that promotes sustainable economic growth. The objective of the study was to better understand the current and potential yachting tourism segment in the Pacific, particularly for Tonga, Vanuatu and Kiribati. Undertook desk research, on-line surveys and stakeholder interviews to identify issues and provide estimates for economic modelling of potential direct and indirect economic impacts; mapping of the major yachting routes (regional and country-specific), anchorages, infrastructure and attractions; assessment of challenges, risks, regulations and barriers. Provided recommendations to support the growth of yachting tourism.

July to Sept 2023: Port Vila Wharf Management Plan

Commissioned by the Dept of Ports & Harbour and Dept. of Tourism, working as a sub-contractor with Kramer Ausenco (Vanuatu) Pty. Ltd. Undertook a review of the management and operations of the Port Vila Main Wharf in relation to governance, security, infrastructure, operations and types of usage. Completed a Situation analysis of current issues and trends through a literature review and stakeholder interviews; Developed a Port management model that defines the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, and evaluated the organisational structure, capability, sustainability, maintenance, and asset management plans; market demand forecasts and financial analysis to ascertain the economic viability of cruise ships that use Port Vila Main Wharf. Provided recommendations on a Management model and funding options.

Feb 2024, March 2023, Sept 2021, July to Sept 2020: Develop and Deliver Professional Business Training Courses at USP, Vanuatu.

Contracted as a Unit Co-ordinator and Sessional Lecturer by the University of the South Pacific (USP) Emalus Campus in Vanuatu. Developed and delivered short courses and workshops in Project Management, and Strategic Planning & Risk Assessment.  Undertook teaching, assessment and administration for the Professional Diploma in Business Management course offered through the Pacific TAFE Centre. Targeted at senior managers in the private and public sectors. Also conducted short courses and workshops in Project Management for the Vanuatu Police Force and the Vanuatu Engineers Association.

Feb 2021 to August 2022: Developing and Implementing the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021 to 2025.

Contracted as the Technical Adviser to the Dept. of Tourism (DoT) to review and implement the approved programs for the Tourism Recovery Plan as aligned to the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021 to 2025. This included a range of activities, as follows:

  • Verbal and written technical advice to the Director of Tourism on sustainable tourism policy and planning issues.
  • Prepared program budgets and funding submissions to support sustainable tourism programs and projects.
  • Secured funding, recruited a National Co-ordinator and formed an Advisory Committee to support the Tourism Business Support Program to provide survival grants, renewable energy subsidies and agritourism incentive funds to eligible tourism businesses who meet criteria based on legal compliance and sustainability factors.
  • Provided technical advice and inputs for the Aviation Access Strategy Plan undertaken by DoT, AVL and aviation consultants AirBiz Ltd.
  • Project Manager for a Yachting Tourism Survey and a Feasibility Study on a Vanuatu based Expedition Cruise ship.
  • Advising the National Cruise Tourism Management Committee on a Memorandum of Agreement between the Government and the two main cruise ship companies to better manage and control the impacts of cruise ship tourism.
  • Assisting the Vanuatu Tourism Office with updated market research in the major source markets about perceptions of travel to Vanuatu in a Covid managed environment.
  • Provided Periodic Tourism Sector Reports for the IMF, ADB and the World Bank.

May to Nov 2021: Feasibility Study for an Expedition Ship in Vanuatu

As the Technical Adviser to the Dept of Tourism (DoT), Geoff Hyde acted as the Project Manager, after commissioning the local firm Barret and Partners to undertake the feasibility study. The study reviewed the Pacific market for vessel types, itineraries, management and marketing. Undertook a SWOT analysis and identified potential environmental and social impacts. Completed a market assessment and financial analysis for a fly/cruise product operating within the Vanuatu islands. The final report was edited and approved by DoT and presented to the National Cruise Tourism Management Committee.

May to Dec 2020: Vanuatu Tourism Business Support Program

Commissioned by the Dept of Tourism in a joint venture with Vila Rose Management and Financial Services. Consulted, researched and produced a report as part of the Government’s Covid-19 Pandemic Strategy for economic recovery. Undertook a Business Needs Analysis through surveys to identify the number and categories of businesses affected; estimated and forecasted costs for a tourism industry financial stimulus package; advised on other mitigation and adaptation activities to ensure Vanuatu is ready to receive tourists when borders are re-opened.

Undertook Stakeholder consultations with 5 x commercial banks, resident High Commissions, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, ADB, SPTO, World Bank/IFC, VCCI, VNPF, VTO, Dept of Energy and a sample of SME business operators. Undertook market and financial analysis to present the following reports:

  • Tourism Business Support Program for survival grants; renewable energy subsidies and agritourism incentive funds
  • Cruise Tourism Industry updates including cruise ships, expedition ships and yachts
  • Agritourism Preliminary Implementation Plan with identified case studies
  • Renewable Energy Subsidy Scheme via an MoU between Depts of Tourism and Energy

These reports and recommended actions were also aligned to the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy 2019 to 2030 and the new Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021 to 2025.

March to Dec 2020: Vanuatu Tourism Recovery Plan

Working with the Dept of Tourism as a member of the Tourism Recovery Plan Advisory Committee established in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic which closed borders and shut down the international tourism sector. Tourism had contributed a sizeable 48% of Vanuatu’s GDP, meaning a massive negative economic impact. The Tourism Recovery Plan was split into 3  phases, beginning with the Immediate Health Safety Response and Economic Recovery phase from May to Dec 2020, covering:

  • Safeguarding Health for Citizens and Visitors
  • Re-establish International Transport Access
  • Local Business Stimulus Packages and Product Readiness
  • Branding and Messaging to Stimulate International Demand
  • Local Community Communications

Phase 2 outlines a number of short term actions for 2021 and Phase 3 outlines longer term actions for 2022. The Tourism Recovery Plan also provided an opportunity to align more to the guidelines provided in the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy 2019 to 2030 and the revised Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2021 to 2025.

April 2019 to Feb 2020: Vanuatu Cruise Tourism Development Strategy

Commissioned by the Department of Tourism, Geoff Hyde was the lead consultant in a joint venture with Trek Vanuatu. Cruise tourism included the three main segments of cruise ships, expedition ships and yachts. The following Project activities were undertaken:

  • Assessment and evaluation of the positive and negative impacts of cruise tourism in Vanuatu – cultural, social, environmental and economic.
  • Assessment and evaluation of the Government policies, plans and legislation for cruise tourism and the private sector compliance regarding the management and sustainable development of the cruise tourism industry in Vanuatu.
  • Interview 50 key stakeholders in the private and public sectors and lead stakeholder workshops and forums in the 6 Provinces of Vanuatu.
  • Review of the current brand and marketing activities of cruise tourism and recommended target markets.
  • Develop Recommendations for Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines
  • Presented a Cruise Tourism Strategy with Action Plan to the revamped National Cruise Tourism Management Committee (NCTMC)

March to December 2019: Feasibility Study of Air Charters from the Asian Markets, for Chuuk State, FSM

STIL took the tourism planning lead role in a joint venture with AirBiz Aviation Strategies Ltd. Full market and financial analysis; Consultation with airlines servicing FSM and neighbouring Pacific islands; Assessment of previous tourism, aviation, infrastructure and investment plans, legislation and regulations; on-site survey and assessment of airport runways and terminals; stakeholder interviews and workshops; assessment of tourism product diversification and development; survey of dive operators and tour wholesalers.

March 2016 to March 2019: Implemented the Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan (VSTAP)

Contracted through the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under an NZAid program and working within the Vanuatu Department of Tourism as the VSTAP Project Team Leader, with 6 local counterpart staff and contracting a range of local and foreign technical assistants. In partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), implemented a range of projects and programs identified in the Government approved VSTAP in capacity development, investment, marketing, infrastructure, product development and human resource development.

As Team Leader Geoff Hyde provided: counterpart training; technical advice; client liaison; budgeting and financial management; recruitment and contract management of 20 specialist technical advisers; stakeholder engagement; project reports to DoT and VTO; quality control; seminar presentations; Monthly, Quarterly and Annual reports to MFAT, including budget and financial updates, for the following projects and programs:

  • Organisational Review and Capacity Needs Study for Tourism Organisations (Governance, Legislation, Funding)
  • Destination Marketing Strategy (with VTO; market segments, demand/supply, product, price, promotion, distribution)
  • Vanuatu Destination Branding Study (with VTO; market segments, vision, messaging, image, stories, guidelines)
  • Redevelopment of the Destination Website (with VTO; rationalisation for destination marketing, booking system)
  • Tourism Investment and Development Strategy (infrastructure priorities, demand and supply factors to identify projects)
  • Tourism Ambassadors Training and Meet and Greet Program (transport operators, land and water taxis, VTO staff)
  • Vanuatu Discovery Trails Program (Diskovarem Efate and Santo – development of 30 local tourism products and SME’s)
  • Handicrafts Business Development Program (with Dept of Industry; business training in leasing, biosecurity and IP issues)
  • Tourism Accreditation and Certification Program (rationalise DoT standards and GSTC guidelines for product development)
  • Agritourism Strategy and Action Plan (with Dept of Industry; identify issues products and stakeholders)
  • Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project (Project Management C’ttee member, Seafront Facilities Management Plan)
  • Tourism Market Research and Analysis (International Visitor Survey, Tourism statistics reports for DoT, IMF, ADB, WB)
  • Special Events Management (Funding and organising the National Tourism Awards and National Tourism Forum)
  • Tourism Human Resource Development Plan (prepared the TOR, advice to consultants, provided inputs at seminars)
  • Review of Provincial Tourism Plans (Policy and planning advice, links with National Sustainable Tourism Policy)
  • Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy 2019 to 2030 (Project Director, Technical Adviser, Quality control, Editor)
  • Microfinancing Scoping Study (review of RBV, commercial banks and NGO policies and programs)

July 2014 to June 2015: National Tourism Policy and State Tourism Investment Plans, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

ADB funded project to develop a National Tourism Policy for FSM and State Tourism Investment Plans for Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae. STIL partnered with the Project Director Development Strategists International Consulting (DSIC), based in the Philippines. STIL consultant Geoff Hyde was appointed as Team Leader and was responsible for overall quality control of project reports, budgets, the inputs and outputs of the project team of four consultants.

He also undertook the following duties: liaison with ADB, DSIC and FSM Government representatives; Stakeholder consultations and presentations at eight workshops for each stage across all four island States; Project Presentation at the annual Leaders Conference;  Monder Law, Literature review, field trips and site visits for a Tourism sector assessment and analysis; Training Needs Analysis and HRD capacity report. The Investment Plans also included the Identification, assessment and profiling of tourism projects to meet sustainable tourism development criteria for financing and funding through the USA Compact Agreement, to stimulate economic growth. The process selected 30 projects across all four States for funding and development.

June 2013 to Dec 2015: Fiji: University of the South Pacific (USP) Business Training Courses.

Contracted by the Pacific TAFE Centre at the University of the South Pacific to deliver short courses (17 weeks) in Project ManagementMarketing Management and Strategic Planning, for the Professional Diploma in Business Management in Fiji and other Pacific Islands. Have also delivered on-going 4 day training workshops in these programs to PICPA in Tonga, Fiji Airways, Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and the Commissioner Western’s Office. Both courses and workshops are targeted at senior industry executives and senior Government managers.

Oct 2013 to Nov 2014: Sustainable Tourism Planning and Climate Change Mitigation Project, Fiji

EU funded through the SPC with GIZ acting as the Project Managers. Assessed the energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) programs and projects within the Fiji hotel sector. Assessed financial incentives and funding opportunities to develop PPP investment proposals. Conducted a literature review of national energy and tourism policies. Undertook a wide range of Stakeholder consultations and conducted Workshops. Completed a sample survey of 50 Hotels concerning their status of EE and RE in relation to their GHG emissions. Then selected two model hotels: one to conduct an energy audit and develop an energy management plan; the other to develop a proposal to install a renewable energy hot water system. An EE/RE Handbook for Hotels was also developed as a training tool to improve their operations.