MINISTER for Culture and Tourism (MCT) Bartholomew Parapolo has encouraged tourism operators in Lau Lagoon,north Malaita, to work closely with their Member of Parliament to improve their livelihood.
Mr Parapolo highlighted this during a high level visit to Lau lagoon Wednesday last week. He was speaking during a night function at Ferasubua artificial Island where Lau operators hosted the delegation.
During his speech he told the operators that the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government has increased rural funding to each constituency this year.
“I want to tell you my good operators here that DCC gov’t this year has increased funds to each constituency this year.
“Therefore I encourage you to work closely with your MP to access funds especially for sanitation and water supply to improve your tourism activities in this region,” Mr Parapolo said.
He added DCC gov’t believes 80% of people are living in rural areas and DCC gov’t is committed to put down funds to support people in rural areas.
“To inform you my people in Lau lagoon and tourism operators here DCC gov’t believes that you are the people that hold the economy of this country with all the resources you have in your land especially here tourism.
“We know that 80% are customary land contributes towards the country’s economy and DCC is committed to support rural areas which resulted in the increasing of rural funds to each constituency,” Mr Parapolo said.
He also highlighted that during the ethnic crises some big commercial companies have stopped operating and only the rural people have rescued the economy of this country.
He encouraged operators to continue and expand their tourism activities in Lau lagoon to benefit people in that region.
“You have all the potentials especially the surfing and your untouched culture.You have huge culture here that needs to be exposed to visitors. Therefore I’m encouraging you to continue on what you are doing while my Ministry and Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) will do the rest in terms of funding supports and promotion,” Mr Parapolo said.
SIVB Board chairman Wilson Ne’e who is very instrumental and very influential in tourism industry told operators that SIVB is ready to promotes Lau lagoon products such as surfing, culture or bush walking.
“We are ready to do it once Lau products are ready,” Mr Ne’e said .
Mr Nee who was reappointed as Board chairman last month told tourism operators in Lau Lagoon that SIVB is working on a promotion page on SIVB website for all tourism operators in the country who unable to do international promotion.
“At the moment, SIVB is working on creating a portal which is a marketing engine or free website for tourism operators who wants to promote their tourism products.
“This portal was designed to help operators who are unable to create their own website or access any international market can join this portal to market their products.
“Currently we are working on it and should be opened any time of this year which you Lau operators can also join to promote your products,” Mr Ne’e said.
He thanked the Lau operators for their wonderful warm welcome and hospitality during a one night stop over at Ferasuabua lodge.
By DENVER NEWTER