BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands is looking at increasing its tourism industry through new marketing strategy this year.
In the 2018 Tourism in Focus forum held at the Mendana Hotel yesterday, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau and Solomon Airlines Limited have detailed that their focus for this year is to make a disruptive change for tourism industry in an effort to increase leisure tourism and marketing strategy for Solomon’s tourism industry.
The main focus is set on marketing Solomon Islands through promotions by increasing more oversea travel writers, attending events abroad and in-country and sending staffs for trainings.
This year the country’s tourism will focus its market in Europe and Asia as additional markets to Australia – Solomon Islands’ main tourism market.
The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr Andrew Nihoopara said the country needs to look at opportunities such as developing the Munda airport, and relevant infrastructure.
Nihopara believes the Munda airstrip should be capitalised on, which will require working together to make the desired disruptive change for tourism in the country.
“There are discussions already held in terms of how we can as tourism sector capitalize on Munda infrastructure opportunity to ensure very important asset given to us is utilize for economic benefit of tourism,” Nihopara said.
SIVB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Josefa Jo Tuamoto adds on that the country needs to focus on leisure market in order for it to grow.
He said Solomon Islands is depending too much on the business market.
Tuamoto also adds September last year, Solomon Islands has increases its number to tourist to 67.8 percent, and to continue increase the figure this year country needs to concentrated on leisure market.
Concerning tourism development so far, Tuamoto said SIVB have done well with support from government and stakeholders despite challenges encountered.
The 2018 Tourism in Focus forum was ended with insights information which sectors from the provinces have equipped with in an effort to work together on developing tourism in Solomon Islands.