Cruise Ships to visit Solomon Islands’ Pristine and Remote Islands
Cruise ships travelling to the country this year will be visiting some of Solomon Islands’ most pristine and remote locations.
Anuta and Utupua in Temotu Province, and Santa-ana and Santa-Catalina in Makira- Ulawa Province, are among the Islands preparing to receive tourists.
In an interview with SIBC News, Tourism Solomons Head of Sales and Marketing, Fiona Teama- Liolea said 16 cruise ships are scheduled to visit the country this year.
Mrs. Liolea said with the geographical spread of the Islands, cruising is one of the strategies they are looking at to get tourists to the remote islands.
“There are beautiful islands outside of Makira, Temotu and even Western Province but we know that the access to infrastructure is an ongoing challenge. So, we have capitalized on the cruise industry for at least sometimes in a year they receive some tourists.”
“There are 16 boats that have been confirmed for 2023, and they will be visiting not only Honiara but other outer islands as far as Utupua and Santa-Ana. We also want to outreach to bigger boats like carnival cruises and piano boats that bring in close to 2,000 passengers in one visit,” she said.
The country received its first cruise ship for 2023 on January 25th, which was the 165-cabin MS Paul Gauguin.
At the 2023 Tourism Focus held at the Heritage Park Hotel last week, Tourism Solomons and its stakeholders re-emphasized that the lack of infrastructures has been a challenge for the tourism industry.
However, during the event, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assured that the government will continue to pursue its policies to increase unique tourism products and offerings by facilitating and supporting the development of enabling infrastructures.
He also stated that the government recognizes the industry as a revenue earner for the local economy, contributing 500 million dollars into the local economy, and providing 3.1 percent of total employment in the country.
By Eliza Kukutu