A trade delegation from the Solomon Islands visited Australia recently, keen to promote their country as a top destination in the Pacific.
The group met with various cruise companies in both Sydney and Brisbane to discuss opportunities to bring passengers to explore the islands next year with plans to redevelop and modernise Honiara wharf. Traveltalk Managing Editor Jon Underwood was invited to a media lunch to hear about the ambitious plans to make tourism a major industry in the country.
“The Solomon Islands is a very friendly place and unique, with a culturally diverse population. Geographically it is close to Australia and we offer a lot of pristine, authentic experiences. For Australians, it is a value for money destination,” John Wasi, Permanent Secretary to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism said.
The destination attracted more than 25,000 international visitors in 2013, some 11,000 of them from Australia. With extra impetus coming from the government as traditional industries struggle, that figure is expected to grow rapidly, with estimates ranging from 33,000 to 40,000 by 2018.
“Promoting tourism in the Solomon’s is everybody’s business and I certainly believe that media is a very powerful tool in terms of our marketing. Hence we need to work closely with the media to spread the word about the Solomon Islands, not just in Australia but worldwide,” added Mr Wasi.
“Our country offers a great variety of experiences to the tourists who come and if we work together with all stakeholders, including agents and media, we can welcome a lot more tourists to the Solomons.”
For more information, head to www.visitsolomons.com.sb.