Upswing in international visitation for Solomon Islands

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BY GEORGINA KEKEA

IN the tourism sector, following on from May 2018, there has been an 8.21 percent upswing in international visitation. Juergen T Steinmetz reports in eTurbonews that Solomon Islands has rounded of Quarter Two in style with June 2018 visitor arrivals growing by 8.0 percent over the same period last year.

Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto was reported to say that if this strong trend continued for the remaining six months of the year, and forward bookings to the destination already indicate they will, the destination was well on track to cracking the record-breaking 25,709 total achieved in 2017.

Figures released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) show May-June figures taking the Solomon Islands visitor intake for the January-June period to 13, 317, a 17 per cent increase over the 11,306 figure recorded in 2017.

Australian visitation for the six-month period climbed to 4664 representing 35 per cent of the total and buoyed by a 2.48 per cent increase across June for the month.

Steinmetz reports that the biggest increases across June again came from Papua New Guinea (up 40.5 per cent), New Zealand (17.8 per cent) and the US (up 16.1 per cent).

CEO Tuamoto said the strong Quarter Two result was indicative of some very hard work by his team in the latter stages of 2017.

“From a promotional perspective we have been relatively quiet in the first half of 2018,” he said.

“But we are confident the inroads we continue to make in our key markets in combination with profile achieved as a result of our new ‘Solomon Is.’ rebranding and related new strategic direction will have a marked effect on our visitation across Quarter Three and Quarter Four.

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