Geography and demographics
Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific. Made up of four main islands and 80 smaller islands, it has a population of approximately 286,000 people. The capital, Port Vila, is also its most populous city, and is located on the main island of Efaté. Its three official languages are Bislama, French, and English.
Vanuatu gained its independence from British and French rule in 1980. Today, it has a unicameral government, where the Parliament is made up of 52 members. The President, elected for a 5-year term, holds the role of head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.
The primary economic activities in Vanuatu are wood processing, meat canning, fishing, tourism and shipping. Other important exports include timber, kava and cattle. The agriculture sector is particularly important, providing a living for 65% of the population. The currency is the Vanuatu vatu.
Vanuatu is often considered one of the South Pacific’s premier scuba diving locations. Its abundance of coral reefs and shipwrecks makes it a popular destination for recreational divers. Other popular adventure activities include kayaking, caving, snorkelling, and off-roading. Its volcanoes are also a must-see, with nine active volcanoes located across its islands.
For a more relaxed atmosphere, tourists can visit one of many famous massage spas, white sand beaches, or enjoy the culinary delights of French and Asian cuisine. Its diverse and rich culture can also be appreciated through visits to small villages and communities, as well as traditional dances and song.