22 Oct 2010

Solomons tourism aspires to great future

2:37 pm on 22 October 2010

The Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau says it believes the country will eventually become one of the major tourism destinations in the Pacific.

Its General Manager, Michael Tokuru, says visitor numbers have increased each year since the Regional Assistance Mission arrived in 2003, and he hopes the country will set a record of 20,000 tourists for 2010.

Solomon Airlines is launching an additional flight between Honiara and Western Province on Sunday and an extra flight between Honiara and Brisbane in December due to growth in demand.

He says tourism will become one of the country's major industries and says it's a much better alternative to logging.

"Over time, perhaps in the next five to ten years time Solomon Islands will be one of the major tourism destinations. Once the infrastructure, product developments, training and also marketing is fully operational, I think Solomon Islands has a very great future for tourism."

Michael Tokuru says the benefits of developing tourism will be growth in visitor numbers, foreign exchange and tax revenue and more employment opportunities.