Sumsum has a point - Solomon Star News

Sumsum has a point

15 April 2015

Dear Editor – The airfares to and from the Solomons are not an issue for the lack of tourism to this country.

As a visitor to the Solomons over the past ten years I can say that the lack of advancement in the infrastructure and amenities for tourists has been extremely disappointing.

The airfares of about $300 - $350.00AUD each way are cheaper than flying between some capital cities in Australia. They are extremely competitive due to the number of airlines flying into Honiara.

The state of the Airport is, dare I say it, an introduction to the standard of the infrastructure within the Solomon islands.  Run down.  There are a couple of old sayings:  "Build it and they will come" and “You have to spend money to make money". 

More spending in the provinces will see employment opportunities, better health and housing being built by more people, and an improvement in the local infrastructure.

There should be encouragement from the government to high end hotels and resort businesses to build resorts in the previous mentioned areas.

However, to do this they will need infrastructure and quality amenities.

There should be more emphasis placed on the creation and building of infrastructure in the regional areas such as Western Province, Russell Islands and the Floridas where tourists can see better untouched landscape, diving and history.

Even Tavanipupu Resort is hardly promoted by Solomon Islands and at least they have a basic idea of what is needed in the Solomon Islands.

The capital Honiara is a dirty and disgraceful city.

To have tourists fly in and cruise ships visit this city as a selling point for tourism is embarrassing.

Reportly 4 star - 5 star hotels in Honiara hold no comparison to other Pacific nations. 

Example: Honiara Heritage hotel is in the middle of Honiara surrounded by high fences and dirty streets, run down tourist infrastructure around it.

There are no beaches of which Solomon Islands have many beautiful and scenic beaches.

There are ship wrecks all along the foreshore including at the rear of the Central Markets where many tourists would go to get a taste of local life and the local produce.  Traffic is a nightmare.

Several hours to cross the City of Honiara through bumper to bumper is appalling.

Either reduce the number of cars or sort out the roads - FAST.

Even looking at the Island Living Magazine which promotes Solomon Islands attractions all you see is advertising for Fiji and Vanuatu.

When you compare the quality of the resorts in these places to Solomon Islands there is no comparison. 

Solomon Islands has the natural beauty, environmental resources and history to attract a lot more tourists than it does now. 

Graeme Macauley