SOLOMON Islands is a very expensive place to do business, says Solomon Airlines Chief Executive Officer Brett Gebers.
He made the statement in his presentation at the Tourism in Focus 2018 held in Honiara last week.
Mr Gebers said that among other constraints facing the national airline, when the country is pushing boundaries to develop tourism industry, quality infrastructure is still lacking here.
“Inefficiency in services, high cost of housing, high cost of food still remain an obstacle where airlines continue to face as a partner in tourism development,” the airline CEO said.
He added that the Solomon Airlines has taken initiatives to ensure the identified obstacles are addressed.
“Solomon Airline has set up the Tourist Infrastructure Development Fund, Engaged Nyras to verify our ideas and action plan, and we are working with numerous consultants to address these issues.”
Mr Gebers said that the airline is also working with New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as government ministries in upgrading of the Munda International Airport which is due to be opened later this year.
“We also have resolved the security challenges at the airport.”
He added that with regard to tourism, they have worked with resorts and Dive Munda to set prices and establish solutions to the obstacles.
He recommends that in order to grow tourism here, we need infrastructure, working capital, improve existing facilities, get the pricing right, price according to the season, develop products and activities, staff training as well as international promotion.
By CHARLEY PIRINGI