Big drop in visitor arrivals

Tourists visiting Gizo in 2018.
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A SIGNIFICANT decline in international arrivals was recorded since restrictions were imposed on International flights by the Solomon Islands Government towards the end of March 2020.

This was the result of the Visitor Arrivals report released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office on Friday 4th June 2020.

Government Statistician Douglas Kimi said the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) response towards preventing Solomon Island residents and citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the notable decrease.

Kimi said total arrivals for third quarter of 2020 were 807.

“This is an increase of 143.8% compared to the previous quarter (2nd quarter 2020). Compared to the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 94.3% was recorded,” Kimi said.

“Returning residents made up 75.0% of arrivals for third quarter 2020. This was followed by Visitors with 24.0 % of arrivals and the remaining less than one percent were Intending residents,” he added.

The National Statistician said visitor arrivals for the third quarter increases by 295.9% to 194 visitors, compared to the second quarter 2020 figure of 49 visitors.

“There was a decrease of 97.5% in visitors arrivals from third quarter 2019 to third quarter 2020.”

Meanwhile, Visitors by Country of Residence Arrivals by country of residence for the third quarter 2020 showed that Australians (43.3%) remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands.

There was an increase of 342.1% to 84 in Australian visitors compared to the second quarter of 2020 figure 19.

The next largest group of visitors were from China (18.0%), followed by New Zealand (17.0%), Other Asia (10.3%) and Canada and PNG (4.6%).

Visitor arrivals by month showed that September recorded the highest number of arrivals in the third quarter of 2020 with 103 visitors. This was followed by month of July with a total of 52 visitors and August the least with 39 visitors.

Restrictions on international flights also had adverse implications on visitors travelling predominantly for tourism purposes. Third quarter 2020 recorded zero tourists whose purpose of travel was for holiday and vacation.

Ends with Chart 1 showing that the returning category make up the largest proportion of all arrivals while the visitors and intending resident categories make up the lesser share this quarter.

–SINSO Press