THE Yam festival which was scheduled to be held in South Malaita next year is sure to promote tourism in the little known region of Malaita.
In his speech to officially launched the logo and theme of the festival, chairman of the organizing committee and MP for Small Malaita, Rick Hou said, the event is one of the few that is organized with both a local and national goal in mind – in terms of tourism development.
“The Southern region is muted as having huge potentials for tourism. So is Solomon Islands – that it has untapped potentials.
“However, this potential has remained for so many years now! How long do we need to take,” Mr Hou asked.
He added that such cultural events will provide the much needed catalyst to the tourism sector.
“Like agriculture, tourism is one sector that delivers development directly in the rural sector and to the majority of our population. Events like this will not only boost local tourism but also bring international tourists to this country.
“Then there is every reason to expect a vibrant tourism industry, equitable development and sustainable growth in this country. That I believe is an aspiration we all share,” the chairman said.
According to Mr Hou, there is no reason for the Solomon Islands tourism sector to remain in its infant stage as it has been for the past years.
He said that every Solomon Islanders can contribute to tourism development but the leading role must be played by the government.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA