INTERNATIONAL arrivals into Solomon Islands has scored an earnest surge of 1.1 percent during the September quarter.
This was after a total of 14,812 tourist visited the country in the third quarter of 2018.
Compared to the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 8.6 percent was recorded, the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) revealed.
Releasing the statistical report for the quarter recently, Government Statistician, Douglas Kimi said 53 percent of the arrivals were from visitors followed by returning residents by 47 percent and the remaining less than 1 percent were from intending residents.
“Visitor arrivals for the third quarter improved by 11.6 per cent to 7,838 visitors, compared to the 7,021 visitors noted in the second quarter of 2018.
“Also, there was a 7.7 percent increase in visitors’ arrivals from third quarter 2017 to third quarter 2018,” Kimi stated.
Meanwhile, on arrivals by country of residence, Kimi said Australians remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands notching 36.9 per cent.
“There was a 17.1 percent increase to 2,892 in Australian visitors compared to the second quarter of 2018 figure 2,469.
“The next largest group of visitors were from Other Asia by 12.1 percent, followed by New Zealand with 7.4 percent, Papua New Guinea 6.5 percent, United States of America 6.2 percent, Fiji 5.8 percent, and Other Pacific 5.4 percent.”
On visitor arrivals by month, Mr. Kimi said the month of July recorded the highest number of arrivals with 2,862 visitors followed by September with a total of 2,663 visitors and August the least with 2,313 visitors.
“A total of 2,849 tourists were recorded during the quarter and they spent an average of 12.8 days in the country. Australian residents still made up the highest proportion of tourists with 40.7 percent and stayed in the country for an average of 11.8 days. Residents from the United States of America made up the next largest group of tourists with 10.0 percent, followed by Other Asia with 8.5 percent, New Zealand 6.3 percent, Other Europe 4.7 percent, Japan 4.5 percent, China 4.0 percent, Other Pacific 3.8 percent and Papua New Guinea by 3.3 percent.”
Kimi said the most common reason for visitors visiting the country during the quarter was for holiday and vocation which scored 34.6 percent followed by Business and Conference by 25.2 percent, visiting for other reason 23.7 percent, visiting friends and relatives 14.8 percent and transit & stop over 1.7 percent.
On visitors by age group for the quarter showed that 72.7 per cent of visitors were in the 25 years to 64 years age range.
“The youngest age group, 0 -14 years, represented 4.1 percent of the arrivals while the oldest age group, 65 years and over made up 10.5 percent of total visitor arrivals. The remaining 2.8 percent were visitors who did not state their age. Male visitors represented more than half of the total visitors’ arrivals by 66.6 percent and female visitors made up 33.4 percent of arrivals.
“Visitor by occupation showed that the “Professional and Technical” category made up the largest percentage of occupations by 34.8 percent during the quarter followed by visitors who stated their occupation as Other occupation group with 30.4 percent), Administration and managerial position 12.1 per cent), No work 11.1 percent, and Clerical and related workers 3.6 percent.
“The most popular carriers during the quarter were Solomon Airlines who carried 43.0 percent of total visitors, followed by Fiji Airways by 29.6 percent and Virgin Australia 19.3 percent,” Kimi stated.