Cruise tourism could grow five-fold, from AUD$0.6 million to AUD$3.3 million by 2017.
This is according to a research presented today at the launch of the “Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruising to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands”.
The study commissioned by the Australian Government, World Bank Group member IFC and the region’s leading cruise operator Carnival Australia, looked at the Solomon Islands main port, Honiara and Papua New Guinea’s main ports.
It identifies a number of opportunities and investments to improve cruise tourism development and capitalise further on the growing sector.
Solomon Islands Culture and Tourism Minister Bartholomew Parapolo, Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne, Carnival Australian Executive Chair, Anne Sherry, and IFC representative Vsevolod Payeveskiy announced the results of the study at an event held in Honiara today.
Carnival Australian Executive Chair, Ms Sherry says, Solomon Islands has countless tourist attractions.
“It’s a place very few people have been, it’s also a place that has a lot of history for many Australian and New Zealanders because of the Second World War history. Many people going on those cruises because they’ve had relatives, family, many of whom are now dead but still through their family history they know that those places were places that their fathers and grandfathers fought and maybe died so they are interested in seeing that. The Solomon Islands also has an amazing reputation for its diving and snorkelling and that you do have some of most wonderful beaches in the world.”