Northwest Guadalcanal Beach Development Initiative strives to improve beach services
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) has completed site and visitor surveys at 41 beaches across North-west Guadalcanal.
Under its Northwest Guadalcanal Beach Development Initiative, the MTC is tasked with improving tourism attractions around Honiara as the country prepares for the upcoming South Pacific Games 2023.
Garnering approximately SBD8.5 million a year from entrance fees, accommodation and other services, beach operations have contributed significantly to the local economy of West Guadalcanal.
Speaking at a briefing with local media today, Senior Tourism Officer and Coordinator of the Beach Development Initiative, Joan Sautehi noted that increasing tour attractions at local beaches is the way forward.
“Entrance fees is the highest income stream followed by other fees. There could be more done by beach operators, such as selling more coconuts or organizing tours that could help increase their source of income,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Technical Advisor at the MCT, Bjorn Svensson explains that the lack of services, poor waste and environmental management, inadequate security and poor accessibility due to deteriorating road conditions are the main issues raised by both locals and expats, during the Visitor’s Survey.
“With these findings, we are meeting with organizations and people to organize trainings with beach owners,” he said.
MTC will also continue to mobilize and coordinate with relevant stakeholders to address issues and attain shared-goals under the West Guadalcanal Beach Initiative.
By Andrea Ma’ahanua