BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
TOURISM sector in Solomon Islands is appealing to the Solomon Islands Government for an increased budget.
The appeal was made by Ms Joyce Konofilia of Solomon Host in the 2018 Tourism in Focus conference held at the Mendana Hotel recently which was attended by Government and members of the country’s tourism industry.
As the country sets to increase its marketing strategies this year, Konofilia said government needs to increase its budget to move tourism development in Solomon Islands with sectors effectively.
“I am appealing to Solomon Islands Government through Ministry of Culture and Tourism for an increase of budget because we have to have money, without money we will not do anything,” Konofilia said.
She said MCT, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau and the private sector as a whole need money in its budget to boost development of tourism this year
With last year’s success, Konofilia congratulates the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and SIVB along with other members of the industry in Solomon Islands.
“Congratulation MCT and SIVB lets all work together, from the private sector point of view there’s no time to complained and pointing figure on each other because this is our Ministry and we need each other to help tourism grow,” she said.
MCT’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Andrew Nihopara said, “There is always room for improvement and scoop for us to work together and get things moving in right direction.”
He welcomed Konofilia’s point of view, adding that the agenda could be lobbied for.
Nihopara also said this will demonstrate tourism’s capacity in working together, reflecting positively to development partners and government.
Also during the forum, PM Rick Hounipwela said that 2018 will be the year to push new boundaries and to challenge the industry’s status quo.
Hounipwela said, “The visitor arrival target is set at nine percent growth for 2018.”
He said SIVB will need the cooperation and support of the tourism industry to realise its goals and objectives, to build the momentum with strategic and clinical approaches to its activities.