The world’s first 7-Star Hotel Developer, Alessandro Rosso, registers company to invest in Solomon Islands tourism industry
THE Italian tourism professional known for developing the world’s first 7-Star Hotel, Alessandro Rosso, and his associates will return to Solomon Islands later this year to follow up on the progress of his tourism project proposal for Solomon Islands.
This was confirmed to Solomon Star by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) this week.
“Rosso, who also owns three award winning resorts in the Maldives as well as many other tourism operations in the world, visited Solomon Islands from September 19 to 29 this year.
“He came here with his associates, Pietro Scanavino, an Italian tourism operator based in Dubai and an Emirati entrepreneur, Mohamed Shambi Mohamed Albloushi, on a potential tourism development site tour,” MCT said.
“They are potential investors who can invest in the country’s tourism sector.
“When they were here, MCT hosted them as they were foreign investors looking for tourism investment opportunities here,” MCT added.
MCT said the high-profile visit resulted from the recent Dubai World Expo which Solomon Islands successfully participated in.
“Before the expo, MCT and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) prepared a booklet on available land suitable for tourism development in Solomon Islands. This booklet proved to be very popular at the Dubai Expo.
“Contact with this group of investors was established by a Solomon Islands Dubai Expo staff, particularly the Pavilion Director, Dennis Marita, who is the Director of Culture in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Solomon Islands Ambassador to the European Union, Moses Mosé. The two were instrumental in convincing these tourism investors to visit Solomon Islands,” MCT said.
According to MCT, during the 10-day tour, the Dubai-based tourism entrepreneurs visited Guadalcanal Province, the Central Islands Province and Western Province with the company of MCT officers.
It said during the tour, the entrepreneurs met with relevant government departments, tourism stakeholders and private businesses.
“In total 42 meetings and 26 site visits were conducted. At a dinner hosted by MCT, the investors met with officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Tourism Solomons, and other senior government officials,” MCT said.
“The investors said they were impressed by the beauty of our islands, as well as the friendliness of our people who they met during their time here.
“They were also appreciative of the speedy assistance by ‘Invest Solomon’ to register their company.
“However, there is still more work to do to prepare the Solomon Islands to become more foreign investment-friendly,” MCT said.
MCT said during the investors’ meetings with the MCT Minister, Bartholomew Parapolo and Permanent Secretary Barney Sivoro, an action plan was developed, outlining how to assist the investors to realise their plans.
MCT said the investors’ trip to Solomon Islands also highlighted that Mohamad Albloushi was the first Emirati to have his visa granted on arrival in Solomon Islands, a result of a diplomatic Memorandum of Understanding signed between Solomon Islands Government and the United Arab Emirates.
MCT and IFC have started the profiling and promotion of tourism investment ready sites in Western Province.
Similar work will be carried out in other provinces, starting with Guadalcanal and Central Islands provinces under the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) Project which is funded by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
By LACHLAN EDDIE
Solomon Star, Honiara