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Mystery Island Cruise Ship Tracker, Webcams & Travel Guide

Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an Oceanian island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island in 1606. He claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. Tourism brings in much-needed foreign exchange. Vanuatu is widely recognized as one of the premier vacation destinations for scuba divers wishing to explore coral reefs of the South Pacific region. A further significant attraction to scuba divers is the wreck of the luxury cruise liner and converted troop carrier SS President Coolidge on Espiritu Santo island. Sunk during the Second World War, it is one of the largest shipwrecks in the world that is accessible for recreational diving. Tourism increased 17% from 2007 to 2008 to reach 196,134 arrivals, according to one estimate. The 2008 total is a sharp increase from 2000, in which there were only 57,000 visitors. Tourism has been promoted, in part, by Vanuatu being the site of several reality-TV shows. The ninth season of the reality TV series Survivor was filmed on Vanuatu, entitled Survivor: Vanuatu—Islands of Fire. Two years later, Australia's Celebrity Survivor was filmed at the same location used by the U.S. version. In mid-2002, the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism.

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