Newly-released Solomon Islands visitor arrival figures for Q4 2022 show the destination is well on track to emulating its best-ever result in 2019 when just under 30,000 international travellers visited the country.
The figures, released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO), show a total of 4207 international visitors travelled through Honiara international Airport between October – December 2022, representing a 69 percent increase over the 2481 total recorded for the previous quarter.
Australians once again made up the bulk of the numbers, the 1775 total recorded an increase of 71 percent over the 1038 figure recorded across Q3, and accounting for 42 percent of the Q4 total.
Figures from the key New Zealand and US markets also showed solid improvement with New Zealand visitor arrivals growing 60.6 percent from 155 to 249, and US numbers increasing by 60.6 per cent from 277 to 360.
Acting CEO & Head of Corporate Services, Dagnal Dereveke said he was delighted with the results which again underlined the tourist office’s primary efforts and focus to actively regain key Australian, New Zealand and US numbers as quickly as possible.
“We remain cautiously confident,” Mr Dereveke said.
“We know with continuing effort, good marketing and profile rebuild and reinstating international confidence in the Solomon Islands, we can get back to where we were before the pandemic in relatively short time.”
Mr Dereveke said a key component of the tourist office’s overall marketing strategy would remain firmly fixed on promoting those core product offerings where the Solomon Islands holds a competitive edge over or can compete with its opposition.
These include the destination’s unique living culture, world-class dive and fishing, surfing, trekking, WWII history, and birding.
Mr Dereveke also pointed towards the country’s staging of the 2023 Pacific Games in November which he said holds huge opportunity for the Solomon Islands’ profile in Australia and New Zealand.
“With both countries televising many of the events on a daily basis across the games’ 14-day duration, this gives us the biggest opportunity for us to showcase what we have to offer international visitors to literally millions of Aussies and Kiwis,” he said.