7 Apr 2008

Solomon Island changes focus to tourism development

10:29 am on 7 April 2008

The Solomon Islands Ministry for Culture and Tourism says it is changing the focus of its spending to developing tourism and cultural products.

The ministry has been given a slight increase in funding with this year's budgetary allocation of more than 1.7 million US dollars.

The Minister Seth Gukuna says the allocation will enable his ministry carry out some of the projects planned by the ministry to double the number of tourist arrivals from now until 2010.

He says there will be a new emphasis.

"In terms of tourism, it's going to be different. It's a shift in our ministry's emphasis in trying to develop products. That's the difference in what we're trying to do this year and what happened in previous years (when) there was more emphasis on building accomodation and all that. My ministryn now thinks it is time to come up with the products."

Seth Gukuna says some of the new projects include a National Heritage Centre and the establishment of a Catering and Hospitality school at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.