The Minister for Culture and Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo says the country’s diverse and unique cultures are an important product as a tourist attraction that must be harnessed in the country’s development agenda.
Speaking at the official launch of the Government’s new National Tourism Development Strategy Friday, Parapolo said culture is an important fabric of Solomon Islands society and must attached in our development aspirations.
“It is an important component that must be recognized to give importance to all our efforts in our nation building and in tourism; it is a great value to the tourism industry in Solomon Islands,” the minister said.
The minister also highlighted the importance of cooperation by stakeholders to support the government in its endeavour to develop the local tourism sector.
“Our collective effort to develop this very sustainable sector is crucial and the new national tourism strategy manifests the cooperation we all must promote to realise our economic goals,” Parapolo said.
The plan focuses on five key components, which included Transport and Infrastructure development, Robust Marketing and research strategies, Product Development and Investment, Human resources and capacity development and Cruise Ships and yachting.
It aims to holistically address these key areas as well as addressing the challenges that continues to hamper Governments efforts.
The plan also provides an inclusive platform to which all stakeholders, including donors to be partners in the development of the industry.
Prime Minister Sogavare who launched the plan also made a nation-wide plea for land and resources owners to embrace tourism by opening up their land for tourism development as the industry holds the hope of the country’s future.