The Solomon Islands’ tourism industry has enjoyed one of its best ever starts to a year, with international visitor arrivals seeing strong double-digit growth.
According to new data from the Solomon Islands government, the Pacific island nation welcomed a total of 3,362 overseas visitors in the first two months of 2016. This marks a 23.4% increase compared to the 2,724 visitors welcomed in January and February 2015.
Double-digit growth was achieved across all four of the country’s top source markets: Australia, the US, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Australian visitation jumped 23.9% to 1,351, accounting for more than 40% of total arrivals.
“There’s no doubt about it, this is a fantastic start to 2016 and the efforts we have gone to across 2015 and in 2016, hand-in-hand with our industry partners, and our adherence to a highly strategic, long-range marketing plan are beginning to pay dividends,” Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau’s CEO, Josefa Tuamoto.
“This year while we will continue to maintain strong profile in our key source markets we are also taking the message further afield with plans to raise profile in Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.”
In an effort to spread the word about tourism in the Solomon Islands further afield, the country recently appointment a Germany-based representative to assist with promotional efforts in the UK and Europe, while a new marketing company has also been hired in the US.
Mmeanwhile, Solomon Airlines has expanded its domestic connectivity, launching a new service Auki, the capital of Malaita province. Flights will now run three times a week from the capital Honiara, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And runway developments at Auki will enable the airline to deploy its larger Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft on the route in future.