A major component in its ongoing 2023 strategy to rebuild international visitor numbers from key source markets, Tourism Solomons will next week host 13 ‘buyers’ from Australia as part of its first ‘Mi Save Solo’ tourism exchange since 2019.
Visiting both Honiara and Gizo, the ‘buyers’, predominantly wholesalers and dive travel experts, are scheduled to meet with some 26 Solomon Islands-based ‘sellers’ – hotel representatives and tour operators – in a series of face-to-face meetings scheduled from 04-08 October.
Tourism Solomons CEO (acting), Dagnal Dereveke said the targeted approach being taken with this year’s event is seen as a significant step for the national tourist office as it looks to regain its pre-COVID international visitation numbers.
“Having been closed off to the rest of the world for more than 800 days and experiencing the significant impact COVID-19 had on our tourism sector, we see this ‘Mi Save Solo’ as crucial in setting the tourism sector up for a much stronger 2024,” Mr Dereveke said.
“Rebuilding trust, partnerships, and those business relationships disrupted during the extended closure are viewed as critical as we move to regain ground lost during the pandemic.
“As importantly, by taking our buyers beyond Honiara, ‘Mi Save Solo’ provides an opportunity for them to refresh firsthand with existing product and other developments that have taken place in the tourism sector since their last visit, particularly in our main tourism corridors.”
While the buyers itinerary is heavily weighted towards the business element, Tourism Solomons has ensured some down time for their guests via the inclusion of several sightseeing and cultural activities in their program.
These include a Saeraghi Village Experience, and, ensuring the Solomon Islands’ rich WWII history forms part of the overall program, a visit to Kennedy island.