Demand and supply are the two main things to enhance tourists’ activities in the country says the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (VB) Josefa Tuamoto.
Speaking before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Mr Tuamoto said, the two main important things to identify in boosting tourism market is to consider the balance of demand and supply in the tourism market.
He said, that investors who come into the country must be closely monitored to ensure they supply the right service demanded, which would be marketable in the future of the industry, as it grows to accommodate more tourism services.
He said, that Solomon Islands is not known to the world, even people in Australia which share the same region with us has some people denied the existence of Solomon Islands.
“When we try to expose our beauty to these people they already have negative pictures about our country, which tarnish the tourism image of Solomon Islands.”
“We talked about supporting tourism but we don’t support tourism, small things like violence spoil the national image in tourism,” he said.
“We must try to understand what we need in tourism,” Tuamoto said.
He further stated that survey is needed to find out about important areas that will enhance tourism activities in this country.
“The potential for tourism to grow is here, but how we could tap on these attractions to raise the tourism market in the country is what we need to address.”
He compared Solomon Islands to neighbouring Vanuatu and Fiji where tourism is the backbone of their economies, generating huge revenue for their governments.
“We have to build destination in tourism, and the increase of the government’s budget for tourism sector this year is the right step in the right direction,” he said.
“Tourism provides employment not only in Honiara but in rural areas as well,” he said.
He highlighted, one potential of Solomon Islands to boost tourism is the rich culture they have.
“The significant of these unique cultures in the Solomon Islands can make a big difference in the tourism market. But we have to be creative,” Tuamoto stated.
He said that the trend in tourism is on the right track but the nation must invest in it.
“This is so that the industry could grow by itself when we reach a certain stage in our efforts.”
He said that tourists’ investors in Fiji were once tourists, and then become investors.
He pointed out that tourists see the capturing market therefore increases demand for supply, and the market grows with more benefits to the country.
By AATAI JOHN