THE Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau chief executive officer Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has “warmly welcomed” Prime Minister Manassah Sogavare’s pledge to prioritise the country’s tourism industry
In one of his first addresses since being elected to the role earlier this month, the Prime Minister said that previous governments had overlooked the potential the tourism sector offers the country.
Those governments, he said, had placed more focus on the country’s unsustainable logging and mining sectors, the so called ‘sunset industries, and there was a need to address and implement strategies in other sectors where the Solomon Islands was naturally strong.
“The tourism sector is one of them,” he said.
Welcoming the Prime Minister’s comments, Mr Tuamoto said the national tourist office fully supported his commitment and vision in promoting and developing tourism.
“The Prime Minister’s recognition of the potential the tourism sector offers to the Solomon Islands is extremely timely,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“2014 was a difficult year for Solomon Islands tourism.
“We experienced the floods in April, the ongoing air service impasse between Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines has had impact, add to which 2014 was an election year.
“But we are looking forward to working with the new government to push the tourism agenda even harder, regionally and globally, to realise the true potential tourism has for the Solomon Islands.
“The SIVB’s charter is to see the tourism sector firmly in place as the country’s prime source of foreign exchange earnings within the next 10 years.
“We warmly welcome and acknowledge his pledge and look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister and his new government in addressing the potential tourism offers and in the process, achieve our common objectives.”