SI-Tourism sector projected a $5.3 million dollars revenue loss due to COVID-19

Solomon Islands Visitors Beaureu CEO, Josefa Tuamoto

The Solomon Islands Tourism Industry is projecting an eighty to ninety percent drop in its revenues as well as international tourist visits.

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Chief Executive Officer, Josefa Tuamoto told SIBC News in an exclusive interview.

Mr. Tuamoto said the Tourism sector is among the sectors that will be adversely impacted by the deadly COVID-19, world over.

He said, globally, the industry is expecting a trillion dollars revenue loss, as well as 75 million people losing their jobs, including the Solomon Islands.

“For this year, we were looking at about, $530 million dollars revenue, in foreign exchange. Unfortunately, by the look at COVID-19 impacts, our forecast is looking at an eighty percent drop. Probably, there will be no visitors, due to the travel ban, and will surely lose this revenue. So, we are projecting about eighty percent reduction from April right up to December.”

Mr. Tuamoto said, his office has produced a nationwide survey on tourism operators, and have very disappointing results.

He assured tourism operators, during the government and stakeholders meeting last week, his office has presented its position papers on the current situation facing the industry, and looking forward to a possible stimulus package.

“I just want to assure the industry as a whole, in the Solomon’s, to please, in these difficult times, the key for us is to conserve and try to weather the
storm.”

Mr. Tuamoto commends the Government for protecting the Solomon Islands borders as preventative measures on COVID-19.

SIBC News is aware, the National Government is working on a stimulus package to cushion the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is also understands, big hotels in Honiara has laid off more than half of theif staff and has scaled down operations.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) said, “Depending on the severity and duration of this pandemic, the Solomon Islands economy might contract further to around 1% or even fall into a recession.”

Solomon Islands is still COVID-19 free.

by Charley Piringi

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