Honiara, Solomon Islands – Praised Tourism Solomons for what he described as a “relentless effort” to consistently maintain a year on year nine per cent visitor growth rate, Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has stressed the need for the country’s tourism industry to embrace a ‘low cost – high impact’ approach if it is to achieve its objectives in 2020.
Delivering the keynote address at the ‘Low Cost – High Impact – Solomon Islands 2020 Tourism in focus’ forum at the Heritage Park Hotel, the prime minister said the marketing and promotion of the destination, especially in our key source markets, will continue to be a priority challenge to address.
“The challenge is due to limited funding resource allocation amidst many pressing priorities on the Government,” he said. The prime minister applauded the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Tourism Solomons, Solomon Airlines and all stakeholders for the initiative taking place is recent time which have demonstrated cost-effective approaches to exposing the country’s tourism operators and their respective products to an international audience.
He also drew attention to the recent and highly successful combined Tourism Solomons/Solomon Airlines joint Australian advertising campaigns and the ‘Mi Save Solo’ tourism exchange which will once again take place in Honiara mid-year.
The prime minster also acknowledged the support of the New Zealand government and the Australian Government’s ‘Strongim Bisnis’ initiative which continue to provide the tourism sector with invaluable support.
Referring to the tourism potential offered by the new relationship with the Peoples Republic of China, the prime minister said his government was managing the engagement process towards realising hoped for “fruitful outcomes”.
“It is crucial that development and business opportunities with China in the tourism sector are strategically embraced ,” he said.
Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said while the onus for 2020 would once again be on achieving even stronger overseas profile for the Solomon Islands, the NTO understood the need to work smarter and harder in order to ensure that every dollar spent on marketing returned a solid result.
“The importance of measurement can’t be overemphasised – we measure everything we do and redirect strategy if it demands it”, Mr Tuamoto said.
Acknowledging the potential the China market offers, Mr Tuamoto said the change in diplomatic relations provides great opportunity for the destination.
“But we need to be ‘China ready’ in terms of products preparations as well as marketing – in particular the use of Chinese language,” he said.
Speakers at the event also included the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, the New Zealand High Commission, the Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands Ports Authority, Strongim Bisnis and representatives from Tourism Solomons and Solomon Airlines.