Solomon Islands is lagging behind its regional neighbours in tourism, the Minister for Culture and Tourism told a Government-hosted dinner over the weekend.
The dinner, held on Saturday in Honiara, was to officially welcome the new Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Chief Executive Officer, Josefa Tuamoto.
Minister Samuel Manetoali told invited guests, the government’s long term plan is to make tourism the top foreign income earner for the country.
Minister Manetoali however said, compared to its regional neighbours, the Solomon Islands’ tourism sector continues to struggle, especially with low visitor arrivals into the country.
He said because of this, the government and the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau decided to bring in someone who can make Solomon Islands a tourist destination.
“It is for this sole reason that the Government and Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau has decided to have someone who can help our marketing and promotion of our country as a tourism destination. I know that there are lots of obstacles in developing our tourism. However, having someone of Mr. Josefa’s calibre is a step in the right direction in our desire to market the tourism industry. Ladies and gentlemen Mr. Tuamoto brings to SIVB vast and wealth of experience in the area of tourism marketing and there is no doubt in my mind that he will contribute positively to our tourism sector”.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Chief Executive Officer said there is no silver bullet to solve the problems faced by the country’s tourism industry or elsewhere, but it takes pure hard work to do so.
Speaking at the Government-hosted dinner to officially welcome him over the weekend, Josefa Tuamoto invited the government and all tourism stakeholders to work together.
“There is no silver bullet to solve the industry problems in Solomon Islands and anywhere in the world. It is pure hard work, and I invite all of us to work together; from the government, the board and industry partners. We will have differences, there is no doubt about that but as long as we have our goal, the common goal that we will work together, that is ensured. And I invite all of us to work together for our passionate lovely country of the Solomon Islands”.
The new Tourism CEO also announced he will later be visiting all tourism stakeholders in the country in his new role as CEO of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.