Vanuatu Government was the main instigator of a bid to host the games in the country and had requested VASANOC to submit an expression of interest to host the games according to VASANOC.After Vanuatu won the Bid in 2011, the host agreement was signed by the Government with the Pacific Games Council and witnessed by VASANOC.It also says Vanuatu’s bid included the written support of Government, the Ministry for Sport, the Port Vila Municipality and VASANOC.But the Association says there’s been no release of funds from the Government, and VASANOC is now considering notifying the Pacific Games Council of Vanuatu’s withdrawal as hosts of these Games.The Vanuatu Daily Post says if this happens, it will be the first-time in the history of the games that a host country has withdrawn from hosting the event.Earlier, the Pacific Games Council said a lot remains to be done before Vanuatu is ready to host the 2017 Mini Games.China started construction work on the main Korman site in Port Vila earlier this month, after 13 months of delays following Cyclone Pam.The Pacific Games Council will meet with key officials next week, including the Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, prior to next month’s General Assembly.The Executive Director, Andrew Minogue, said the signs of progress are positive but plenty still needs to be done.”The money still has to come through to the Organising Committee and then they themselves have to ramp up their efforts and plans for the Games because we’re in December 2017 for the Games which is really only 19/20 months away from now.”Andrew Minogue said the Council’s General Assembly in Port Vila is a good opportunity for member countries to have a look around at what progress was being done to reassure them everything is on track.
G Adventures names top 5 destinations for 2016As Australian and New Zealand travellers start looking into what adventures to book for the coming year, the experts at G Adventures, the world’s leading small-group adventure tour operator, have predicted the new hotspots along with new ways to see old favourites.Yurt-making in Kyrgyzstan, relaxing in a floating hammock in northern Brazil, and hiking an ancient pilgrimage trail in Japan are just three experiences for adventure travellers being introduced in 2016.Sri LankaVisitor numbers are increasing for this India Ocean gem, up 17% year-on-year according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and G Adventures is expecting its traveller numbers to rise too. It’s launched the Sri Lanka Express, which is full of culture and nature, but can also be combined with a Maldives Dhoni Cruise, for the ultimate twin-centre adventure getaway. Visit a spice plantation and stay in an eco-lodge in the rainforest, and experience a jeep safari in Yala National Park.The ‘Stans – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Visa restrictions have relaxed in Central Asia recently, so it takes the number one spot for those looking for the most unusual passport stamps. Travellers can learn to build a yurt and sleep in yurts and homestays with local families, supporting community-based tourism along the way. G Adventures have introduced five new trips for 2016 in Central Asia.Northern Brazil This South American superstar will once again be in the international spotlight when it plays host to the 2016 Olympics. This time around, G Adventures is encouraging travellers to head north, staying in a jungle lodge then exploring Chapada Diamantina National Park, a hidden gem with flat top mountains and Brazil’s highest waterfall. If relaxing in a floating hammock over crystal clear, teal-coloured water sounds more attractive, stunning Jericoacoara beach is just the cure. G Adventures is launching two new itineraries in northern Brazil.JapanJapan is more affordable than ever and firmly on the comeback track, hosting both the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics. In 2016 G Adventures is encouraging travellers to see the parts of Japan most tourists miss, and to see them a different way. With a first-of-its-kind active trip that has travellers hiking along the UNESCO-listed Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route where Kyoto’s ancient emperors once prayed to deities in the trees and rocks. Then cycling across stunning islands following the world’s largest series of suspension bridges, known as the Shimanami Kaido. Finally travellers will kayak around the Bay of Miyajima to see its main attraction, the floating Itsukushima Shrine.Northwest USA This region is experiencing a tourism ‘it’ moment with its combination of hip cities, quirky small towns, and stunning natural parks, which collectively mark their 100th anniversary in 2016. G Adventures new National Parks of the Northwest US trip takes in all of the above. Visiting Wild West mining town Wallace in Idaho, known as the Silver Capital of the World and spending nights camping in Big Sky Country, Montana, and Yellowstone NP, home to the most wild animals in the US. G AdventuresSource = G Adventures