International visitor numbers to the Solomon Islands rose 7.8% in 2015, according to the latest figures released this week.
Australian visitor arrivals again led the way, the 9509 total recorded for the 12 month period representing a 4.1% increase over 2014 and accounting for 43.9% of the 2015 total.
New Zealand for the first time jumped into the number two spot, the 1451 figure recorded for 2015 marking a 3.2% increase over the 1243 total recorded in 2014.
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto again attributed the positive result to the efforts the national tourist office has gone to in all key source markets across 2015.
“This is particularly the case in Australia and New Zealand where we have been extremely hard at work creating a profile for the Solomon Islands, working hand in hand with our industry colleagues and Solomon Airlines to perpetuate awareness for the destination,” he said.
“Our efforts in the US, which was heavily affected by the Fiji Airways-Solomon Airlines impasse in 2014, and PNG have also borne fruit.”
Tuamoto confirmed that broadening the destination’s overseas appeal remains a priority in order to attract more visitors.
“We are renowned as a mecca for SCUBA divers, surfers, backpackers and more latterly, families looking to reconnect while on holiday and the romance/wedding markets,” he said.
“Leading into 2017 we also see huge potential with the 75th anniversary of the Guadalcanal campaign and the corresponding 100th anniversary of the birth of John F.Kennedy which we know will hold huge potential for us, particularly in the US market.