HONIARA, Solomon Islands – The Solomon Islands tourism industry has received a massive shot of confidence with the news that visitor arrivals recorded for April 2015 have jumped by a massive 15.6 percent.
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said he was delighted with the fantastic news which comes just days before the country’s tourism industry joins together at the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel on Friday for the much awaited 2015 Our Telekom National Tourism Forum.
“This amazing result is indicative the strategic approach the SIVB with government, national airline and local industry support has taken in recent months is beginning to move in the right direction,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“We have always been aware that the key to the future was to design and implement a blueprint for the successful future of our country’s tourism.
”To that end, 2014 was the year which saw us establish a much required platform and it is from there that we have begun to build and implement the blueprint with the full backing of the government.
“There can be no doubt that while 2013 proved a good year for us, the April 2014 floods and the lingering ASA dispute had impact on our international visitation numbers last year.
“But the April 2015 result, and the confidence which it instils in all of us, represents a first turning point in the Solomon Islands tourism fortunes.
“This is a great result but now is not the time to rest our our laurels.
“We must continue to remember that key to everything we do, there will always is an ongoing need to take long hard looks at what we have achieved and examine how we can continue to improve on those achievements.
“This remains a critical component and one we must maintain in order for us to continue to take the required step changes required as we move to propel our country’s tourism fortunes into the future.”
Australia remains the country’s number one source of foreign visitors with Fiji moving into second place and New Zealand and Papua New Guinea taking third and fourth place, respectively.
More than 200 industry delegates are expected to attend the ‘Managing Change and Creating a Million Tourism Opportunities’-themed Our Telekom National Tourism Forum which again this year features an impressive line-up of keynote speakers representing the government, local and overseas tourism industry representatives and the corporate sector.