The number of visitor arrivals for the first quarter of 2016 was 9,754.
This is a decrease of 22% compared to the previous quarter (4th Quarter 2015), according to the latest report the National Statistics office released, Friday.
“Compared to the same quarter a year ago, an increase arrival of 3.5% was recorded,” the report showed.
“Arrivals classified by the category for the first quarter of 2016 showed that returning resident comprise of 44%,” it added.
“Visitors recorded 52% and the remaining 4% was recorded for intending resident.
“Visitors’ arrival for the first quarter showed a decrease of 15.3% to 5,037 compared to the fourth quarter 2015 figure of 5,948.
“Compared to the same quarter in 2015, an increase of 14.5% was recorded.”
Visitor by country of residence
The report reveals arrivals by country of residence for first quarter of the year showed that Australians (40.2%) continue and remain the frequent travellers to Solomon Islands, followed by Other Asia (14.3%), US (7.1%), Fiji (7.0%), PNG (6.1%), NZ (5.5%), Vanuatu (3.5%), and China (3.3%).
Visitor by Month
Visitors by monthly arrivals for the quarter showed that February has the highest number of arrivals with 1,707 persons.
This was followed by the month of March with a recorded total of 1,675 persons and January the least with 1,655 persons.
Tourist arrivals for first quarter of the year recorded a total of 1,497 persons and they spent an average of 12 days in the country.
The highest number of tourists recorded for the quarter comes from Australia (43.4%) and staying in the country for an average of 11 days.
This was followed by Other Asia (12.6%), US (10.8%), PNG (4.4%), Other Europe (4.2%), Fiji (3.4%) and Japan and China (3.3%).
Visitor by Purpose of Visit
Distribution of visitors by purpose of visit revealed that Business & Conference (28.7%) as most popular during the quarter.
This was followed by Other (27.2%), Holiday & Vocation (26.7%), Visit friends & relatives (14.4%) and Transit & stopover the least with (3%).
Visitor by Age Group
Visitor Arrivals by broad age groups showed that 76% of arrivals were in the 25years to 64years age range.
The younger and the older age brackets represent 17.5% while the remaining 6.5% represents visitors who did not state their age.
Male represents 72% of the arrival and female 28%. (Refer to Chart 6).
Visitor by Occupation
Visitor by occupational category revealed that those who stated Other (38.6%) recorded the highest during the quarter.
This was followed by Professional & Technical (29.9%), Administration and managerial (10.1%), No Work (9.9%), Production & Related Work (4.4%) and Service Worker (3.2%).
Visitor by Carrier
The most popular carriers during the quarter were Solomon Airlines (45.6%) followed by Virgin Australia (23.8%), Air Niu Gini (19.7%) and Fiji Airways (9.1%).
Concepts and Definitions
Persons entering Solomon Islands classify themselves into three (3) categories; returning resident, intending resident, and visitor.
According to the statistics report, the concepts and definitions of the various categories are as follows:
(i) Returning residents
* Solomon Islanders and non-Solomon Islanders who have left the country and are returning to continue their residence.
· Non Solomon Islanders includes resident permit holders and Diplomatic officials, and their immediate family members. This may also include legal or official arrangements that fall outside of the above.
(ii) Intending residents
· Non-Solomon Islander who wish to take up residence in Solomon Islands.
· Any traveller who is not a Solomon Islander and who purposely spend less time – at most a period of 120 days in the country and with the intention and purpose of visiting.
· Visitors who further classify themselves stating their visit are purposely for ‘holiday and vacation’. This exclude, tourist arrivals by cruise ships.
· Wife accompanying husband on business purpose is a private tourist unless also working.
By LESLEY SANGA