International visitor arrivals to the Solomon Islands are increasing, with double-digit growth in April and May 2015.
Figures released this week by the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) show that arrivals for May 2015 reached 1,681, an increase of 14.9% over the same period in 2014. This follows a 15.5% increase in April 2015, when the country welcomed 1,750 overseas visitors.
The results do compare to a weak period in 2014 however, when the Solomon Islands was impacted by floods.
“2014 proved a tough year for the Solomon Islands; the Honiara floods in April followed by the prolonged Fiji-Solomon Islands air impasse had a major effect on our visitation,” said SIVB CEO, Jo Tuamoto. “But it also gave us the opportunity to consolidate our position, look at where we wanted to go and start building the platform we needed to build in order to begin boosting the country’s tourism fortunes.
“The reality is we need to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground – key to everything is looking at the ways the Solomon Islands combined tourism industry, with continued government support, can continue to improve and build upon these solid results,” he added.
Australian arrivals continue to dominate the statistics, contributing almost 47% of total visitors to the Solomon Islands in May 2015. Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the US and New Zealand were the country’s other main source markets.
Tuamoto said the strong April and May results could be attributed to the SIVB’s marketing efforts, which were undertaken in the last quarter of 2014 and the first three months of 2015.