A SIGNIFICANT decline in international arrivals continues to be recorded since restrictions were imposed on International flights by the Solomon Islands Government towards the end of March 2020.
The latest Visitor Arrivals bulletin released by National Statistician Douglas Kimi on Tuesday 31st August 2021 confirmed this.
The report showed the total arrivals for fourth quarter of 2020 were 1,256.
Mr Kimi said that although this is an increase of 55.6% compared to the previous quarter (3rd quarter 2020), “compared to the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 92.3% was recorded”.
“Returning residents made up 89.6% of arrivals for fourth quarter 2020. This was followed by Visitors with 9.3% of arrivals and the remaining 1.1% were Intending residents,” said Kimi.
Visitor arrivals for the fourth quarter decreased by 39.9% to 117 visitors, compared to the third quarter 2020 figure of 194 visitors. There was a decrease of 98.6% in visitors’ arrivals from fourth quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020.
Meanwhile, visitors by country of Residence for the fourth quarter 2020 showed that Australians (72.5%) remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands.
“There was an increase of 0.6% to 85 in Australian visitors compared to the third quarter of 2020 figure 84’’, Mr Kimi said.
“The next largest group of visitors were from China (16.7%), followed by Other Asia (6.4%), New Zealand and Canada (1.7%), and PNG (0.9%).”
Visitor arrivals by month showed that October recorded more than half of visitor arrivals (51.3%) in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 60 visitors.
The report reiterates, restrictions on international flights as part of the SOPE measure against Covid-19 pandemic had adverse implications on visitors travelling predominantly for tourism purposes.
The fourth quarter of 2020 recorded zero tourists whose purpose of travel was for holiday and vacation.