Culture lures overseas visitors

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

CULTURE is one factor of attraction for overseas visitors, and the theme: Past Recollections, Future Connections is fitting for the 6th MSG Festival.

This is according to the Melanesian Arts and Festival’s (MACFEST) chairperson and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry Culture and Tourism Mr Andrew Nihopara.

He said this is indicated in the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau International Visitor surveys.

With The MACFEST’s theme, Nihopara said it is very fitting for the 6th MSG Festival as our cultures are our past.

“Not only that but also country’s future in terms of how people connect with other people around us and how we connection our past, current and future generations, he adds.

“As we are in a much globalised world with many external influences, our past in terms of our cultural heritage and practices must use embraced to help shape our future directions.”

Looking at the importance of designing the theme, Nihopara said Solomon Islands cannot ignore its past, “therefore the recollection of our past determines our future with each other”.

He said in terms of tourism development such event translates as very significant for tourism development because this is a very important avenue which our own people can involve and participate in the tourism sector.

The cultural industries provide a very important avenue for our women, youth, rural and urban people to engage in some forms of formal businesses that are culturally-based, he said.

On the national level, Nihopara said culture and tourism is growing, and it has already become a very significant sector for people’s engagement.

“While this will contribute towards tourism interest, on the reverse, tourism will also help to facilitate the growth of this sector as we get more and more visitors into Solomon Islands.”

Solomon Islands are counting down the days to the festival.

Honiara is expecting approximately 2000 visitors who will be attending the Melanesian Arts and Festival commence on July 1—14.

The event will also coincide with the country’s 40th Anniversary.

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