Vanuatu could be named Pacific Games hosts for the first time ©Samoa 2019

Tahiti and Vanuatu will hope to be named hosts of the 2027 Pacific Games during the two-day Pacific Games Council (PGC) General Assembly.

The PGC confirmed Tahiti and Vanuatu as the final candidates last month, with Fiji having withdrawn from contention earlier this year.

Fiji has instead expressed interest in hosting the Games in 2031.

The French Polynesia Olympic Committee (COPF) and Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) have sought to promote their respective bids prior to the decision on Saturday (November 6).

The COPF has received support from the island’s rugby federation prior to the vote, with local business Mana Wood producing a frame featuring a logo for the bid.

The VASANOC last month encouraged national federations to participate in a video to help promote their bid for the Games.

Vanuatu Rugby League and the Vanuatu Surfing Association are among the organisations to have offered their public support for the bid.

The latter welcomed confirmation that surfing had been included as a sport, should Vanuatu be awarded the Pacific Games.

Surfing is an optional sport at the Pacific Games but has not featured since New Caledonia hosted the event in 2011.

Vanuatu is hoping to host the continental event for the first time.

Vanuatu will hope its hosting of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games will boost its chances of staging the event.

In 2018, organisers of that event said they had created a surplus of $700,000 (£514,000/€605,000).

Vanuatu previously bid for the 2015 Pacific Games, but was beaten in the race by Papua New Guinea and its capital city Port Moresby.

Tahiti has hosted the Pacific Games twice already, with Papeete being the central venue in 1971 and 1999.

Part of French Polynesia, Tahiti regained its PGC status in 2018 after a suspension was lifted.

The PGC deemed the French Polynesian Government had interfered in the autonomy and independence of sporting associations.

Lumi is to manage the online voting and an auditor from Ernst and Young will act as the scrutineer of the votes.

The Solomon Islands is due to host the Games for the first time in 2023, after winning a vote against Tahiti.

An update on preparations is expected during the General Assembly.

Organisers of the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan will also outline their progress prior to next year’s event.

Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), has faced several challenges in the build-up.

The CNMI was hit by a super typhoon in October 2018 which led to organisers withdrawing as hosts, before agreeing to stage the Games with a reduced programme of six sports.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the Games moving to June 17 to 25 next year, with the programme increasing to nine sports.

Tennis, weightlifting and va'a were reinstated, with the sports joining baseball, badminton, athletics, beach volleyball, triathlon and golf.