Port Vila (pôr vēlä´) or Vila, town (2009 pop. 45,694), capital and largest town of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. On the SW coast of Efate island, it is a deep-sea port built around a natural harbor at Pontoon Bay. The commercial center of Vanatu, Port Vila has agricultural and fishing industries and is a tourist hub with hotels, resorts, and other facilities. There also is an offshore financial industry. Settled by the French in the 19th cent. and later controlled by the British, it was an American base during World War II.