8 Oct 2013

Eco-tourism to benefit rural Solomon Islands

4:13 pm on 8 October 2013

The owner of an eco-lodge in Guadalcanal says people in rural Solomon Islands can be encouraged to invest in eco-tourism businesses as it has a flow-on effect to the rest of the community.

The owner of Conflict Bay Lodge in Marau Sound, Elijah Maumamura, says he opened the business two years ago on his family's customary land, and built the lodge with local material.

He says the natural beauty is already there, and the only thing needed to do is build the facilities to house guests comfortably.

Mr Maumamura says the benefits from his lodge get passed on.

"We work like eco-system here. Other villages provide entertainment, cultural groups, and some of them provided me vegetables, fish, seafood, so everybody they get benefits. Some guys owns waterfall, guest gets there, they should get a few money for the visit to the sites. That's how people here get benefit from the tourist business as well."

Elijah Maumamura says it was a difficult first year beginning the business because he had no tourism or hospitality training, and it would be beneficial for the government to train people at grass-roots level.