Santa Cruz communities have benefit a lot from the sale of local artefacts and providing extended service to tourists during the calling of international cruise liner MS Europa on 25th last month.
There are three tourism destinations at Santa Cruz – Malo /Wia, Luova and Noipe.
Malo/Wia tourism committee chairperson Malachi Lekano yesterday shared the benefits his community get during the cruise ship from Germany visiting their shores.
“Most of the surrounding village earned money in US dollars from their crafts and local food sales to the more than 300 passengers on board,” Lekano told the Sunday Star.
“Those providing extended services such a tour guide, OBM skipper and village visit also benefit from the tourists,” he added.
“The tourists also visit sites such as a popular aquarium fish farm and village setting.”
Lekano said the cruise liner tour was arranged by Destinations Solomons (DestSolo) Managing Director Wilson Maelaua.
“We will expect another cruise liner on the 5th of April which is bigger than the previous boat.
“We will work on improving port preparedness,” Lekano said.
He said their communities are thankful for Maelaua’s hard work in slotting their islands into the cruise ship itinerary.
“He works closely with us which helped us see the potential which this tourism industry can generate in many ways.
“We are now working on plans and finding government support to fund our port preparedness, providing toilet facilities, transit lodge and other basic services to be provided while the boats moored outside our seashores,” Lekano said.
The Santa Cruz tourism leader is convinced that tourism industry should be their new income generating industry since he sees the potential to build from.
“Unlike cocoa and copra industry, tourism as we felt and experience during the recent boat visit is more sustainable and has multiplier effects on the villagers.
“The province also gets their share of $2000 as agreement with Tradco management,” Lekano said.
He said in the meantime they are working closely with the Temotu Provincial Government and Ministry of Culture and Tourism to help provide support in improving the port calling of cruise ships.
By TEDDY KAFO