A local tourist business operator in North Malaita, Ngenomea Kabui, has questioned the government’s tourism development priorities.
This came after a recent trip to the region by Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Josefa Tuamoto, has failed to identify potential tourist attractions in North Malaita.
SIBC’s Malu’u stringer Lensley Kwaimani reported Mr Kabui as saying that tourism promoters in the country should also reach down to communities within the country’s constituencies.
“He said people who are responsible for facilitating and promoting tourism development in the country should also reach right down to the rural areas in the constituencies. He said a place alone can not have potential tourist attractions but almost all constituencies have their own various prospective tourist attractions.”
The local tourist operator adds, responsible authorities should also organise tourist related training activities to potential tourism operators in the rural constituencies.
“Finally, he called on responsible people including the government and those having passion for tourism development in the country to go down and offer necessary training to those involved in related tourism activities and even tourism eye-openers for rural dwellers.”
Any tourism development and negotiations has to first go through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, says the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.
The Bureau’s Marketing Manager, Freda Unusi made the statement today in response to questions raised by a guest house operator in North Malaita, Ngenomea Kabui.
Mr Kabui had questioned the government’s tourism development priorities, saying they are not inclusive of rural communities in the country.
Welcoming his questions, the Marketing Manager says the best place to go first in terms of any tourism related activity is the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
“The first person for you to have a dialogue with is the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. After that, they will tell you about us at the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, then we will come over to see your entity. For your information 511 Guest House is not in our current list. We have the Lagoon Dwellers Rest House, which is our only active member in the area. What I mean by active is because it has paid its bed levies and so we can promote it.”
Meanwhile, the Marketing Manager says, the Visitors Bureau welcomes aspiring tourism developers to see the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Bureau to develop tourism in the country.
SIBC News understands, a recent visit by the bureau to the Langa Langa lagoon near Auki, Malaita province was made as a result of dialogues between local tourist operators in the area.