Solomon Islands could be an ideal tourist destination for Chinese tourists, according to visiting Counsellor of the PNG-based Chinese Embassy, Wang Genhua.
He told the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare in a meeting in Honiara that Solomon Islands would be an ideal tourism destination for his people because there are fresh fish, food crops and vegetables and, above all, smiling people.
In response, Prime Minister Sogavare says yes the HAPPY ISLES has all the tropical attractions that visitors would want to see.
He said they include the Marovo Lagoon, the longest one in the World, remnants of World War Two, including one-thousand warships used during that war are sitting at the bottom of the Iron Bottom Sound off Honiara city, and in the Western Province, as well as beautiful beaches and reefs for snorkelling can be found in most islands nation-wide.
Mr Sogavare said the unique sites will need to be packaged and marketed abroad.
Meanwhile, Mr Genhua said most Chinese tourists go to Bali in Indonesia, however, “they could be lured to come to Solomon Islands if the tourism infrastructure can be attractive”.
But he raised the questions of whether or not there is electricity and transport facility in the rural areas.
Prime Minister Sogavare said many villages in the rural areas now have access to solar lighting and transport infrastructure is being addressed with donor assistance.
By George Atkin
For OMPC Press Secretariat