Tourism

Solomon Islands tourism minister says investment in sector must “speed up”

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Solomon Islands has called for more support and a greater acceleration of investment in the tourism sector in order for the country to meet its targets.

Opening the Mi Save Solo tourism exchange in Honiara on Thursday, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo told attendees about the Solomon Islands government’s desire to enhance tourism beyond the eight per cent of GDP it accounted for in 2018 to a level similar to global trends of 10 to 12 per cent GDP.

“However, for this to happen, investment in the tourism sector needs to be supported and speed up,” he said.

“The quality [of] room supply in the country must increase by 700 to 1,000 rooms within the next five to 10 years. The Tourism Investment Incentives Package must be accessible to set in motion domestic and foreign investments in the tourism sector.”

Parapolo said continued strong marketing activity is also key in helping the Solomon Islands’ sustain the growth its tourism sector has realised in the last two years.

He said Mi Save Solo is part of the country’s integrated approach to match products to markets through a sales and marketing push, with 43 buyers – mostly from Australia, New Zealand Papua New Guinea and the US – rubbing shoulders with 30 sellers, including hotels and resorts, inbound tour operators, airlines and dive operators.

“I hereby make a repeated call for us to focus on quality and not quantity,” Parapolo said.

“Our theme of ‘Measure what Matters’ is significant in that we want to see great tangible returns from Mi Save Solo.”

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