The event attracted more than 30 participants with different tourism backgrounds and interest to the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific.
On 3rd December, the first ever Tourism Seminar focused solely Solomon Islands was held in Tokyo.
In his opening remarks at the Seminar, the marketing officer from Tourism Solomons, Nelson Manepura acknowledged the partnership Solomon Islands Tourism Office in Tokyo sponsored by Kitano Construction company, as well as Japanese Association of Travels Agents (JATA), the Pacific Island Centre (PIC) and the Air Niugini for the provision of support towards the event.
He highlighted that the Solomon Islands is a new destination for Asia and Japanese tourists, especially for exploring its unique opportunities, the relaxing environment, isolated and unexplored nature.
He further highlighted there are several tourism activities that remains intact and alive in the islands such as Shell Money making in Malaita.
He further highlighted that the Solomon Islands has the best diving spots in the world that frequently admired by international diving agents that could be worth a unique adventure to explore.
In support of Manepura’s statement, Kensuke Nishida, JICA volunteer to Tourism Solomons, presented and elaborated more clearly to the tourism agents by showing powerpoint pictures and slides of some tourist attraction sites in the Solomons, including packages of other cultural and traditional activities.
He also alluded further and encourages the Japanese agents to explore the Solomon Islands themselves and go to see the tourism opportunities.
“Ken’s presentation in our language was very impressive and attractive to the participants, especially those who are not good at English,” Kazuyoshi Ogawa, chairman of the Solomon Islands Tourism Office in Tokyo pointed out.
“Many turned to Ken and asked a lot of questions to him to obtain first-hand information,” Ogawa said.
One of the participants of the event, Akira Nakamura, Managing Director of Globe Co, LTD, Japan, who works for Oceania and Africa Regions, has said that he was happy to be part of the talks, especially to know about the Solomon Islands to further explore its unique potentials and opportunities.
Similar sentiments were also raised by other agents (participants) after the meeting.
“Responding to the survey after the Seminar, 89% of the participants shows their high interest in Solomon Islands,” Ogawa said.
“Though they commented some gaps for us to solve, such as less-frequent air access to Solomon Islands, expensive domestic air fare, difficult to find Japanese speaking guide, they definitely open their eyes to Solomon Islands market as holiday destination not only for WW2 remains.
“It is our task to follow-up with them to organize actual tours in respective targeting client,” Ogawa stated.
He is looking for more of such activities in the future.
Tourism Solomon Team further visited individual agents and operators during their stay in Tokyo.
Manepura said that Solomon Islands is grateful for the great work and support by the tourism promotion team in Japan with overwhelming and ongoing support by the Kitano Construction Company.
The current location of the Solomon Islands Tourism Office in Tokyo is in the headquarters of Kitano Company.