Destinations

Tourism Solomons CEO expresses “grave concerns” for local tourism following oil spill

Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has expressed grave concern for the impact the oil spillage continuing to flow from a grounded bulk carrier on pristine Rennell Island holds for both the local community and the country’s tourism prospects.

While praising Australia and New Zealand’s swift response to calls for help to minimise the impact of the environmental disaster taking place at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed marine sanctuary, Tuamoto said it is quite likely if the damage was not contained in short time, the impact on this pristine part of the world would be irreversible.

“We are beyond grateful at the quick action of our Australian and New Zealand friends to try and minimise what has the potential to become a major ecological disaster,” Tuamoto said.

“But we hold grave concerns for the local community and for the damage already done to their homes and livelihoods” he said.

“Add to this the economic impact this disaster potentially holds for the country – international divers make up a large percentage of the 28,000 international visitors we host every year and this situation even now could act as a strong deterrent to their coming.

“With tourism – and particularly dive tourism – growing in importance as a key economic driver for the Solomon Islands, this situation obviously holds great concern for us.

“To lose even a part of this much-valued source of international visitation would be nothing short of a catastrophe.

“The latest information we have is that unfortunately to date an estimated 75 tonnes of oil have escaped from the ship but we understand all efforts are being made to contain the hundreds of litres still aboard the Solomon Trader.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and pray that it can be resolved with minimum environmental impact as quickly as possible.”

A team from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and New Zealand oil-spill containment specialists arrived on Rennell Island last week where the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Solomon Trader ran aground four weeks ago.

Rennell Island was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998 and is the largest raised coral atoll in the world.

Home to 1200 people, the oil leak poses a major threat to the island which is located in the southernmost tip of the 992- island archipelago and home to many unique marine species.

The Solomon Islands is renowned as one of the world’s foremost dive locations.

Just last December the Solomon Islands was named one of the world’s top 10 dive destinations in the prestigious annual ‘Dive Travel Awards’ conducted by the world’s largest dive publication, British-based Dive Magazine UK.

The destination’s 992 islands and unspoilt coral reefs literally teem with huge numbers and unique varieties of marine life.

Add to this the dozens of WWII shipwrecks and downed aircraft that litter the seabed, so much so that one area near the country’s capital Honiara has been renamed ‘Iron Bottom Sound’.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Travel Agents

What every travel agent can learn from actor Samuel Johnson

by Huntley Mitchell

Actor and charity founder Samuel Johnson had plenty of takeaways for travel agents at a recent conference, which you take away here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Passenger plane carrying 233 makes emergency landing in cornfield

The pilots that pulled off this heroic landing are receiving more praise than our intern when he restocks the office Tim Tam supply, and that’s saying something.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

REVEALED: All the winners from Virtuoso’s 2019 Best of the Best awards

Congratulations to all the exceptional travel companies (including a you-beaut Australian resort) that took home shiny gongs at Virtuoso’s Best of the Best awards!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Contiki Australia announce new boss, TTNQ appoints CEO + MORE!

What better way to contemplate throwing in your resignation for greener pastures than by reading this week’s sure-to-make-you-jealous roundup of top-notch industry appointments?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Twitter melts over hot pilot after passenger “kind of” gets plane to himself

Twitter has some strong opinions about a viral video of a passenger getting a “private jet” experience. Not because the plane was empty, or because the airline said he didn’t fly on it, but because of a split-second encounter with a dreamy pilot.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie influencer detained in Bali, forced to pay $40,000 over prescription medication

Between helping influencers avoid jail time and sorting out the guy who fly-kicked a scooter, DFAT has no doubt become well acquainted with Balinese police this week.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Australian entrepreneur dead after falling overboard from cruise ship

by Huntley Mitchell

In tragic news, an Australian man has died after falling overboard on a cruise ship bound for the US Virgin Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: italktravel & cruise at home launches, TTC hosts Eden Ministry, win big with Brand USA + MORE

What’s better than reading about agents on cool famils and winning free stuff? Finally reaching Friday!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

WIN a gift hamper from the The Goods Tube: Just another reason to attend Travel DAZE

As if learning gems of knowledge and practical tips from the best in this business wasn’t enough, we have a few more tricks up our sleeve for Travel DAZE 2019.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

ATTN: Two weeks left to enter The Travel Awards 2019!

If you’re still planing on entering The Travel Awards 2019 but are yet to complete your submission, the time to get your s***t together is now!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Qantas, Webjet & Flight Centre among travel companies hardest hit by ASX fall

by Christian Fleetwood

Australian travel companies were among those on the receiving end of a drop in share prices at the opening of the ASX200 this morning.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Hilton’s big Canberra plan, Upgradus launches in Australia, New Bali beach club + MORE!

This week’s hotel wrap is so huge that it’s left Travel Weekly’s reporter with RSI in his fingers, palms and wrists.

Share

CommentComments