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For a few months in 1889, the settlement of Port Vila was an independent republic known as Franceville.It was the first self-governing nation to practice universal suffrage without distinction of sex or race, although only whites were permitted to hold office.
In 1887 the islands came under the administration of a joint French–British naval commission.
Tourism plays an important part in the economy, accounting for around 20% of GDP.
With approximately 110,000 international air passengers for 2012 and 113 Cruise ship arrivals already confirmed for 2013. Bauerfield International Airport provides flights to New Zealand, Australia all major cities , Fiji and New Caledonia and its surrounding islands.
An additional of two Municipal Beautification Plan for Port Vila and Luganville town which is yet to be developed.
These two Plans will be more specific on developing and beautifying urban centers for visitors and locals.