This was revealed by the bureau’s chief executive officer (CEO) Josefa Tuamoto in Marau, East Guadalcanal over the weekend.
Mr Tuamoto who spoke to more than fifty (50) tourism operators in Marau said the bureau is taking a new approach by aiming to increase visitor’s arrival in the country to one billion.
“This year and beyond our ultimate aim is to increase visitors’ arrival into Solomon Island by reaching around 1 billion.”
He explained that so far visitors’ arrival in a year stands at around 23, 000 and the target is to increase that.
“In my records visitors’ arrival in to Solomon Islands is only 23,000 which very small and we want to take that number up to 1 billion,” Mr Tuamoto said.
The SIVB CEO said Solomon Islands need to improve on its visitors’ arrival inorder to earn much needed revenue.
He cited Fiji where around 30, 000 visitors arrived in a month.
“In Fiji visitors arrival for a month is around 30,000 and most of them comes from Australia and New Zealand while in Solomon Islands its just 23,000 in one year which is very small.
“So this year and beyond we must do something at least reach that target 30, 000 visitors arriving here in one month,” Mr Tuamoto said.
Mr Tuamoto who is a former Fiji Bureau CEO told the operators about the revenue Fiji got from the tourism industry.
“In Fiji we got FJD$2 -3 billion in revenue from tourism and all operators shared the money equally and are benefiting from it.”
If Fiji can do it then why not Solomon Islands, as long as everyone works together.
“And this could happen in Solomon Island if we all work together with the bureau and the government.
“Let’s all work together by playing our part to reach this target,” the CEO said.
BY DENVER NEWTER