NAMUGHA town in east Makira is the next host of the popular De Makira Banana Festival in June 2017.
The chairperson of Tourism Makira islands Noel Daley Mamau announced this in Kirakira after a successful visit to Namugha town this week.
The De Makira Banana Festival is hosted annually since 2014.
But this year, the festival will not be hosted as a full review of the hosting, the financial sponsorship arrangement and structure of the festival will be looked into and finalisation of the legal status of the association and the banana festival foundation.
The festival is privately run by Tourism Makira Islands an association with all tourism operators in the province with sponsorship from the Makira/Ulawa provincial government, Solomon Telekom, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau and the cultural division and the agriculture division of the national government and the Kastom Gaden.
Some private companies from Honiara who participated in the last two festivals did not pay their fees although they sold all their wares.
According to festival organisers, in future the local organizing committee will be strict and companies wishing to participate must pay up their participation fees in advance.
Attempts to get funding assistance from the RCDFs of the 4 Makira members of parliament in the last two hosting were not successful but they are encouraged to assist in future hosting of the De Makira Banana festival because the festival is always enjoyed by the people of the province who are their constituents.
The Tourism Makira Islands wants to move the festival to the eastern region of Makira/Ulawa province because the association wants to move closer to people of the eastern region to ensure the participation of the people from Star Harbour, Santa Ana, Santa Catalina, Wainoni and Rawo regions of the province.
The eastern region should also benefit from the tourism industry awareness programmes that will take place.
Another reason the third De Makira banana festival hosting is being moved to Star Harbor is because it is deemed to be the tourism hub of the Makira/Ulawa province.
The region has a very rich culture, adventure sites, plenty waves for surfing.
Namugha town is the first place for Queen Elizabeth II to step on land in the Solomon Islands in 1974. Naone Island, one kilometre off Namugha, is the site of the first declaration in 1874 of the British Solomon Islands protectorate by the British Marine.
These two sites are of paramount importance to Solomon Islands and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should in the near future build monuments to mark the two important occasions of history.
The third De Makira Banana Festival in Namugha will feature banana in fruits and variety, banana in food and drinks, banana in traditional cooking, traditional canoe race, dug-out canoe race, spear fishing competition, fishing competition, seafood, cultural activities, local band music and women in development.