Coronavirus could affect tourism sector - Solomon Star News

Coronavirus could affect tourism sector

10 March 2020
Josefa Tuamoto.

SOLOMON Islands tourism sector will be certainly hit hard if the coronavirus (2019-nCov) crisis continues.

“It will cause unprecedented damage to tourism businesses,” says Tourism Solomon Islands Chief Executive Officer Josefa Tuamoto.

Speaking to this paper, Mr. Tuamoto said for the Solomon Islands the situation is very fluid at the moment.

When asked if they have some plans or resolution in place Tuamoto said that there is no definite resolution to this virus outbreak due to the fact that the situation is very fluid.  

“As you must have heard and read from overseas media everyone will be impacted however the extent of the impact will vary by country,” he stressed.

Tuamoto pointed out that for Tourism Solomons they are currently focusing on supporting the Ministry of Health with the advisories they have put out as this essentially means protection of our borders and our people.  

“Vigilance is the key and once there is some hint of normalcy we will roll out the campaigns in our key markets particularly Australia and New Zealand,” he further added.

As this crisis unfolds, concerned authorities are faced with the predominant concern of protecting public health, yet must also be mindful of the impacts any decision made will have on businesses

It’s understood that The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is closely monitoring developments related to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), both in China and worldwide and is cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO).

UNWTO stated that during times of crisis tourism has to live up to its responsibility as an integral part of wider society. The sector must put people and their wellbeing first.

Meanwhile, the tourism sector in Solomon Islands has been rapidly showing positive growth prior to the 2019-nCov crisis.

The Solomon Islands Government has been eyeing the tourism sector as a very vital sector that will replace logging in years to come.