Honiara, Solomon Islands – With record numbers of international buyers in attendance at the 2019 ‘Mi Save Solo’ tourism exchange in Honiara, Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said he could not be happier with the outcome, describing the event as ‘having exceeded all expectations.”
“There’s no doubt about it, the Solomon Islands position as a new and exciting travel destination is well and truly out there on the global travel map,” he said.
“This is evidenced by the almost 40 per cent increase in international buyer numbers attending the event.
“Given that interest and considering this is only the second time we have staged this sort of event to any scale, there is no reason why we can’t attract in excess of 60 international buyers when we stage the 2020 event.”
The Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo officially opened the event staged this year at the Institute of Tourism in the Solomon Islands National University campus.
Addressing attendees, the minister said the Solomon Islands focus on sustaining growth in the tourism sector had been realized in the last two years.
But this, he said, must continue in line with airline seat capacity and a strong resourcing of marketing activities.
Overseas buyers this year included representatives from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the United States.
Local buyers this year topped the 30 mark including hotels, inbound tour operators, airlines, dive operators, budget accommodations and resorts.
Mr Tuamoto again thanked Solomon Airlines and the Australian Government-backed local business initiative Strongim Bisnis for their support in helping deliver the event.
As in 2018, almost all the international delegates have stayed on to participate in a series of ‘beyond Honiara’ educational study tours visiting Gizo and Munda in the Western Province, the Marovo Lagoon, Marau Sound and Malaita.