THE COVID-19 pandemic has affected about 84 percent of tourism growth as analysed by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO).
That’s according to Miss Solomon Islands, Tiare Haro, when participating in the speech category of the 2022-2023 Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in Apia, Samoa last week.
She spoke on the topic of ‘Tourism, the Goldmine for ordinary Pacific Islands.’
Miss Haro said, “The COVID-19 affected about 84 percent of tourism growth, as analysed by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.”
“However, it does not account for the resilience of our Pacific people that drive the industry,” she added.
“We have been at the forefront of climate change, but we’re stronger than the adversities we have faced. We attribute, we rise, we heal and we overcome.
“Personally, I am proud of all my Pacific Island countries that were quick to react to the threat of the pandemic,” Miss Haro said.
Miss Haro also commended Pacific tourism operators for looking after their visitors through safe COVID-19 protocols.
She cited Fiji’s Joy experience, Chance New Guinea tours, Kiribati Terau beach bungalow, Va-i-Moana lodge here in beautiful Samoa, and the Pacific Crown Hotel in Solomon Islands as examples.
The Miss Solomon Islands said as Pacific Islanders, Pacific nations should work together to complement each other’s experiences and offerings.
“We cannot afford to compete against each other but continue to promote our islands as one Pacific village because through working together in promoting our good Pacific, we’ll be a stronger tourism region in the world to be reckoned with,” she said.
Miss Solomon Islands and her contingent arrived safely back in Honiara yesterday.
By LACHLAN EDDIE
Solomon Star, Honiara.