West boosts cruise business with $1m


WESTERN Province has allocated one million dollars to construct a cruise ship jetty – meaning passengers who want to disembark the ship will have no difficulties reaching shore.

The allocation was passed by the Western Provincial Assembly meeting last week.

Supervising Tourism Officer of Western Province, Fabina Lilo welcomes the allocation saying it will definitely boost Western Tourism, especially cruise ships.

She said a proper jetty for cruise ship passengers has been a long-standing need of Western Province and the budget allocation will make the difference.

Lilo said the plan is to build a user-friendly facility to meet the standard and encourage passengers onboard visiting cruise ships to visit the islands.

“We are expecting a few cruise ships to visit Western Province this year and this funding will be the beginning of something new for the Western Tourism Industry.

“Most of the tourists who come on the cruise ships are old ages and that, there is a need to build a user-friendly jetty for the old age,” she said.

She adds that such development will encourage tourists to go ashore and also encourage tourists to spend more money.

“From experience, only a few tourists went ashore when the cruise ship came here. I’m optimistic that this funding will encourage more tourists to come ashore and spend more money, injecting money into our local economy,” she said.

She will discuss the potential strategies with her committee on how the project will give back to the province going forward.

Western Province is the tourism hub of the Solomon Islands.

According to tourism operators, the number of tourists visiting Western Province has increased since the international borders opened last year.

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