Bernard Garo of Ginger Beach Retreat is one of a growing number of operators embracing Solomon Islands’ tourism potential.
Recently sponsored to Fiji to expand his tourism knowledge, he’s focused on ecologically sound, integrated and community-based tourism.
A member of the nation’s tourism board, he’s also behind the Tandai Tourism Association, a group of 35 operators in the region of Tandai, half an hour’s drive west of Honiara.
The association’s activity offerings include the Visale Mountain hike; bird watching; visiting Savo Volcano, WWII relics in the bush (or at nearby Vilu Open Air War Museum), and Poha Cave where historical drawings of past inhabitants can be found.
Opened in March last year, Ginger Beach Retreat’s three bungalows are built on stilts and sleep nine (three in each bungalow). They come with king size bed with canopy and one single bed, full ensuite, private balcony and complimentary non-alcoholic drinks.
The resort has been a hit with local expats for weekend breaks and for NGO meetings in the restaurant/bar/ conference room. It’s had encouraging feedback from regular groups of cruise passengers who come for lunch, cultural performance and beach time.
A group of Australian wholesalers and media enjoyed a taste of this experience when they visited for a site inspection following the Si Save Solo travel mart recently. The traditional welcome, motocooked lunch, weaving demonstrations and cultural performance involved people from the neighbouring village, and a troupe of pan-pipers from Malaita province who were in Honiara for the 2018 Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival (MACFest).
Seven more bungalows are planned (four are currently under construction) along with Solomon Islands’ first wedding chapel.