Solomon Island needs bigger wharves to cater for cruise ships coming here says Deputy Director of Tourism, Savita Nandan.
Ms Nandan speaking during a one day tourism stakeholder’s workshop held at Mendana hotel, Tuesday said Solomon Island needs a bigger wharf for cruise ships.
“We just return after meeting with cruise companies in Australia last week and they say Solomon Islands did’t havea proper wharf for cruise ships.
“So if we want a bigger cruise ships to come here we must make sure we have a bigger wharf which is longer and can cater for the cruise ships,” she told participants yesterday.
Last week team from Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT)and Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) have held meetings with several key cruise industry players in Australia including Compagnie de Ponant, Carnival Australia and Linblad Expeditions which between them sell cruise travel to a large percentage of the more than 800,000 Australians who choose cruise holidays every year.
During their visit to Australia last week permanent secretary (PS)of tourism John Wasi and the team also took the opportunity to spread the word even further when they met with a group of Australia’s travel industry and specialist cruise media to outline the reasons behind the visit.
Ms Nanda said during the meeting last week in most of the cruise operators are keen to visit Solomon Islands.
The only thing that needs to be done is with expansion of the current wharf, she added.
SIPA with the help of the Japanese government are proposing on an expansion plan for the current wharf.
Work is expected to start soon or early next year.
By DENVER NEWTER