AUSTRALIAN PRINCESS LEFT HONIARA, TOURIST SETBACKS
Australian Sea Princess has left yesterday after its one day visit to the Solomon Islands.
Carrying 1,983 passengers and about 850 crew members, Sea Princess arrived in the country yesterday.
Marketing Officer of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), Ellison Kyere told SIBC News the cruise boat has headed for Vanuatu.
Their destination started off from Australia and then to PNG, to Honiara and then to Vanuatu and then back to Australia.”
SIBC News understands, more cruise vessels will visit Solomon Islands this year.
Meanwhile, a local Tour operator says Honiara still has a long way to go to prepare for tourist arrivals and satisfy their expectations.
Managing Director of Imperial Tours, Ender Rence says feedback from the Australian Sea Princess passengers were seriously negative.
Mrs Rence says she took twenty tourists for snorkeling at the Boneghe beach and later to the World War 2 memorials.
The tourists were surprised at the lack of public toilets and the pot holes along the public roads.
“Outdoor is really hot and after drinking a lot of water they would ask to go to the convenient room, but unfortunately we do not have such public facilities available. Furthermore, when I took them to visit the war site even the roads are in very bad condition and they would ask if we paid taxes and where the tax funds go.”
Mrs Rence says the Government needs to address these issues immediately if tourism is to replace the logging and mining sectors.
“It may be normal for tourists to ask like that, but if it continues to happen and nothing’s change within one or two years, then we really need to do something and as a tour operator I call on the Government to fix our roads not only in Honiara but also those in the provinces for everybody’s accessibility.”