21 Sep 2015

Solomons tourism urged to carve its own path

1:30 pm on 21 September 2015

The Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau is urging tourism operators to avoid comparing themselves to neighbouring powerhouses Fiji and Vanuatu.

This comes as the country's tiny industry works to expand cruise ship business by improving infrastructure and developing cultural experience for visitors.

The chair of the tourism board Wilson Ne'e says he believes Solomon Islands has a lot to offer travellers, but operators should stop trying to compare themselves with well established competitors.

Mr Ne'e says work is underway to improve berthing facilities in Honiara in anticipation of a huge spike in the number of cruise ship visits next year.

"The increase in cruise ships coming up this year we had about four main big boats that came into the country, or come to Honiara. Next year we are getting 8 cruise ships, huge ones that are coming in to Honiara and a total of 25 cruise ships visiting the country. So that is about a 400 percent increase."

Fiji's average annual visitor arrivals are measured in the hundreds of thousands, Vanuatu lies just below the 100,000 mark and Solomon Islands is yet to break 30,000.

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