14 Nov 2006

Political row has negative impact on tourism to Solomon Islands

2:26 pm on 14 November 2006

The general manager of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau says the political row between the government and Australia is having a negative impact on tourism.

Michael Tokuru says they recently surveyed the hotels, resorts and dive operators and found that there had been a downturn in visitor numbers and planned tourist arrivals.

He says the travel advisories issued by the Australian and New Zealand government are also having an impact with both warning against non-essential travel to Solomon Islands.

Mr Tokuru says recent criminal incidents were isolated events, confined to Honiara, and the rest of the country is safe to travel to.

"We'd like to see the political and diplomatic row between Solomon Islands and Australia be resolved as quickly as possible. This will give the confidence of intending visitors from Australia. The sooner this situation is resolved and the travel warning reduced or withdrawn, the better it is for the tourism industry."

Michael Tokuru, the general manager of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.