A tourism operator in Malaita’s Langa Langa Lagoon has called on the Government to encourage private boat operators to provide better transport options in and out of Auki, Malaita.
Serah Kei, the owner-operator of Serah’s Hideaway in Langa Langa Lagoon, told SIBC during its recent tour of the province that the lack of ships from Auki back to Honiara was having big impact on her business, and the businesses of many people in Malaita.
She said the fact there are no boats back to the capital from Auki on Sunday and Monday meant weekend travellers were almost non-existent, unless they chose to fly.
She said that option was too expensive for the majority of people.
“It could help the weekenders, and people from Honiara could come visit their families,” she said.
“And they could be back for work. But now if they come to visit they will miss work. And most of my guests have been having that problem.”
There are currently large, slow boats that come to Auki from Honiara every Monday night and return on Tuesday morning. They take at least six hours.
The Pelican Express, which takes about three hours, travels to Auki on Wednesday and Friday and then travels to Honiara on Thursday and Saturday.
“Most people want to come on Saturday, or Friday and come back early on Monday or Sunday but there’s no ship.
“It has a big impact on us and on people from Malaita.”