The Solomon Islands experienced rising international visitor arrivals in 2016, driven by a sharp increase in interest from Asia.
According to data released this week by the Solomon Islands’ National Statistics Office, the Pacific island nation welcomed a total of 23,192 international visitors last year, up 7.3% compared to 2015.
Australia remains the country’s largest source market, with 9,539 arrivals accounting for 41.1% of the annual total. This was almost flat (+0.3%) compared to 2015 however, and the growth was mainly caused by a significant 26.7% jump in arrivals from Asia – a factor the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau’s (SIVB) CEO, Jo Tuamoto, attributed to his organisation’s marketing efforts in the region.
“We know we have attracted very strong attention from a dive-crazy Asian audience which has become very aware of the superb quality of both our coral and World War Two wreck diving,” Tuamoto said. “But is also very pleasing to see us continue to make gains in our four biggest source markets – Australia, New Zealand, the US and Papua New Guinea – which continue to perform well.
“Key to everything we do is to continue to broaden the Solomon Islands’ overseas appeal to attract a more diverse range of visitors,” he added.