About 30% of visitors to Vanuatu visit the outer islands, where ecotourism has recently emerged as a small-scale but significant activity. In the face of increasing competition from comparable Asia-Pacific destinations, there has been pressure on tourism operators and the Vanuatu Government to improve product quality through mechanisms such as the development of high-quality tours. One way to enhance product quality is through the provision of appropriate professional training for tourism sector employees, including local tour guides. The paper outlines a tour-guide training programme delivered on the outer islands, which received financial assistance from several foreign aid agencies. The programme is an instructive example of an attempt to implement a human resource strategy in a developing country arising from the recommendations of a national tourism masterplan that sought the active involvement of international funding agencies in the implementation phase. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of the training programme and outlines the challenges of programme delivery.