Solomon Island Ports Authority (SIPA) will build an interim terminal for tourists visiting Honiara by boat starting this year.
The authority’s director of corporate service Glyn Joshua revealed this during the Our Telekom national tourism forum held at the Heritage Park Hotel, Friday.
Mr Joshua said the new interim terminal will be built at the old copra warehouse within the ports area.
He explained this new terminal should allow visitors arriving on board cruise ships and boats to have a place while spending their time to watch local cultural entertainment and buy cultural items under one roof.
“The interim terminal will have facilities where tourists can spend time to watch traditional performances while allowing these visitors to buy local traditional handicrafts crafts from local men and women under one roof.
“This idea will generate employment and income for locals, wealth creation and improved the living standards, high tax revenue and economic diversification,” Mr Joshua said.
He pointed out that currently arrivals of tourists in cruise boats at the Point Cruz wharf is not that welcoming because tourists do not have a proper place to relax upon their arrival.
He said the authority has proposed the idea due to increase arrival of visitors by boat into Honiara over the years.
“We have designed this to help tourism in the country grow since we experience more cruise boats arriving in the country without properly hosting and welcoming them.
“Therefore this new interim terminal will have a tourism office and proper area of tourists to relax, chat, watch entertainment and have their opportunity to buy local crafts,” Mr Joshua said.
He therefore urged all stakeholders and government to work closely with SIPA to ensure the project can be smoothly administered.
Construction work will start as soon the board of directors meet to finalise the date.
By DENVER NEWTER