NINE 15-seater air-conditioned buses, loaded with more than 100 curious tourists, descended on the Sikaiana Cultural Village on Tuesday morning, thanks to cruise ship ‘Pacific Eden’ which berthed at Point Cruz wharfthat beautiful and sunny day.
This was the biggest number so far to have graced this Polynesian cultural village located 12 km east of Honiara and along the famous Red Beach of North Guadalcanal.
Since it started welcoming, Sikaiana style, their first 12 guests aboard cruise ship ‘Dawn Princess’ on 29 May of this year, the numbers has since swelled to 26, 80 and now 101 from the three cruise ships that graced Point Cruz wharf on 24 September, 1 October, and 1 November respectively.
“Thanks to SIVB, Tradeco, Charis Travel, Travel Solomons and Destination Solomons, our promotional efforts are paying off, especially on board these cruise ships ‘Dawn Princess’ and ‘Pacific Eden’, where we are getting healthy arrival figures from,” says Duke Telaupa, chairman of theCultural Village task force.
“Our activities out in the market as well as on social media are capturing the attention of a new breed of traveller that is looking for a tropical getaway with a difference,” Mr Telaupa added.
“The increase of visitors to our village shows that we have something unique to offer to all kinds of travellers.”
The Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) has been working on developing cultural villages in and around Honiara since 2014.
This is to meet the demands of visitors with an interest in the country’s diverse cultures but cannot get to the islands because of distance and other reasons.
The Sikaiana/Polynesian Cultural Village at Red Beach is one of these and was funded by the SIVB and the Sikaiana settlers on Red Beach.