HONIARA was buzzing with excitement on Thursday after close to 2000 tourists from Australia landed at our shores.
The one day visit had given smiles to the organisers, local craftsmen and women, cab and bus drivers, shop owners, tour guides, ports authority, banks, entertainers and the public at large.
And one of the person who was so excited and smiling all day was the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau (SIVB) chief executive officer Josefa Tuamoto because after weeks of planning and preparation the visit was successfully hosted.
Speaking to the Solomon Star soon after the arrival of the cruise boat MV Dawn Princes the Fijian described the arrival of the visitors as an exciting day for the tourism day in the country.
The boat arrived yesterday morning at around 5am and anchored just off the Point Cruz harbour where most of the tourists both young and old were transported in fast crafts from the boat to the main ports wharf and then went about to visit parts of the city.
Upon their arrival stunning live performances by local panpipers and cultural entertainments were at hand to welcome every guest that arrived at every single boat trip at the ports area.
On hand were tour guides, crafts markets, banks, vehicles and other organisation including SIVB who ensured that most of the visitors are able to get the right direction before moving out.
The BSP team were also busy exchanging money at the wharf to ensure these guests have enough local dollars to spend during their visit.
A good number of cars and buses have been hired provide transports in Honiara and outside of Honiara.
Mr Tuamoto on Thursday could not hide his excitement saying he was overjoyed with the huge turnout of the visitors and the response by the local people to welcome them
“Today (yesterday) excitement is in the air for the tourism industry of this country.”
He added excitement is still there with the hope of more cruise ships to come into the county.
“This is just a trial with more visits to come,” Mr Josefa said adding the visit was to see the position and strength of this country where SIVB and other organisation will collaborate together to improve the weak gap.
“Today I could see our weakness where we would discuss with other organisation like Solomon Island Ports Authority (SIPA) to improve it next time.
“But so far the visit today is absolutely perfect,” the exciting bureau’s boss said.
By DENVER NEWTER