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Top Australian film crew coming

Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau(SIVB)  and Solomon Airlines have combined resources to host a major Australian travel film crew on an 11-day shoot in the country.

A joint statement said, the visit by Channel Seven Australia’s ‘The Travel Bug’ is part of a major thrust aimed at showcasing the many and varied attractions the Solomon Islands offers to international travellers.

While in the country, the crew will visit Munda, Rendova, Gizo, Isabel, Savo, the Florida Islands and the Marovo Lagoon with Solomon Airlines providing both international and domestic air support.

They will also film around Honiara.

Their program is all part of an SIVB ‘master plan’ designed to highlight the huge array of activities international visitors can enjoy while visiting the Solomon Islands.

The itinerary includes cultural activities and village visits, river rafting,  scenic beauty spots and waterfalls, bush walking, diving, surfing, volcano trekking, swimming with dolphins and bird watching as well as visiting several key areas of historical relevance including WWII sites around Honiara, Gizo, Munda and in the Florida Islands.

SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto in a statement yesterday said, the in-depth planning for the visit had been designed by the NTO’s marketing team to underline just how much the Solomon Islands has to offer its visitors, irrespective of taste or budget.

“These days we can pretty much cater to everyone with our accommodation choices, from the luxury hotels in Honiara to the boutique resort accommodation, eco-lodges and home-stays we have dotted across the entire archipelago.

“Add to that we can compete with anywhere in the world when it comes to a unique array of activities and attractions. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you want to do - we can cater to it,” Mr Tuamoto said.

Mr Tuamoto who is from Fiji recruited by Solomon Island Government (SIG) heading SIVB last year  said, the ‘The Travel Bug’ crew’s arrival was particularly relevant given the program’s huge reach into the Australian market, this country’s most important source of visitor arrivals, and at a time when Solomon Airlines was about to launch its new Sydney-Honiara service.

“The great thing about the program is that while it reaches a major Australian audience on the Channel Seven national network, it also goes out to the world via the National Geographic Channel and NetLink to reach major US, UK, Asian and European audiences.

“This initiative and the huge benefits our tourism industry stand to accrue from this exercise is yet another shining example of where the national tourist office and national carrier are combining resources to work hand in hand to the benefit of the entire country,” Mr Tuamoto said.

By DENVER NEWTER