200 visitors expected for war anniversary

The Battle of Guadalcanal will be commemorated in Honiara
Advertise with Islandsun

HOT on the heels of its official border reopening, the Solomon Islands tourism industry is back in business in a major way, preparing to welcome international tourists attending the 80th anniversary of the Guadalcanal campaign. 

More than 200 visitors are expected to attend the event including dedicated tour groups from Japan and the US who will all stay at the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel in Honiara during their stay with all arrangements being managed by local tour operators, Travel Solomons and Pure Solomons.

Tour programs, in the main running from 07 – 12 August, have been designed to incorporate many of the key battle sites in and around Honiara and will also include a visit to Tulagi’s famous Blue Beach and Tokyo Bay in the Florida Islands.

Itinerary highlights include both the Japanese and American Memorials, Galloping Horse Ridge, the Matanikau River, the National Parliament Building (a gift from the American Government on the 50th Anniversary), the Gifu, Fighter 1 and Fighter 3 and the Crash Strip, Henderson Field, Alligator Creek, and Beach Red.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manesseh Sogavare, representatives from the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand governments, ministers and cultural leaders will be in hand to commemorate official anniversary proceedings which take place on 07 August, the date on which in 1942 US Marines landed in Guadalcanal, Tulagi and the Florida Islands.

Tourism Solomons CEO (Acting), Dagnal Dereveke, said the destination’s heavily impacted tourism sector’s revival could not have got off to a better start so soon after the border reopening.

“We appreciate this is a small start on our road back to recovery but it’s a good start,” he said.

“Placing us in the world tourism spotlight, even if only for a short time, gives us confidence the G80 Anniversary will act as a catalyst for a fast return to where we were before we closed our border in March 2020,” he said.