Underlining ever-growing international interest in the Solomon Islands as a new and exciting travel destination, more than 30 buyers from Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the US have descended on Honiara to attend the inaugural ‘Me Save Solo’ Solomon Islands tourism exchange.
Solomon Islands Minister for Tourism & Culture, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo officially open the tourism exchange taking place at the Coral Sea Resort & Casino.
The buyers face busy schedules, meeting with 30 local tour operators, dive companies and resort managers representing product from across the length and breadth of the Solomon Islands.
Following on from the tourism exchange, almost all of the international delegates will stay on to participate in a series of ‘beyond Honiara’ educational study tours visiting Gizo and Munda in the Western Province, Marau Sound and Malaita.
Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said the essence of these post-tourism exchange programs was to instil a very clear image in all participants’ knowledge banks the Solomon Islands is very much a “series of destinations within the one destination offering a plethora of unique and very niche travel experiences.”
CEO Tuamoto said while similar buyer/seller events had taken place in previous years, the response from the international delegates to ‘Me Save Solo’ fully underlined the interest the destination is attracting in overseas markets.
“It’s the same on a local basis,” he said.
“We have close on 60 individuals attending this year, a big increase on last year, all of whom are keen to speak with and realise the opportunities and potential the visiting international delegates hold for their various businesses.”
Adding further local colour to the event, the visiting delegates will also have an opportunity to attend the Melanesian Festival of Arts & Culture while in Honiara and the celebrations surrounding the Solomon Islands 40th anniversary of independence.