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A two-day National Sustainable Tourism Investment Forum is set to start in Honiara on Thursday on the theme “Invest to Preserve”.
Hosted by the National Government through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, the Forum will gather both international and local tourism experts to discuss and share experiences on the conscious direction Solomon Islands is pursing towards realising its tourism potential.
The Tourism Industry in Solomon Islands is now at the crossroads and needs to position itself as a destination in the next 10 years either to grow at a passive rate of 9% or take a more conscious but aggressive rate of 15%.
Prior to the Forum, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Bartholomew Parapolo said tourism is a growing industry and one that is very significant to the future of the country’s economic growth.
“Although there have been some improvements in the overall performance of the tourism sector in recent times, there is a need to take some concrete steps towards realizing the potential,” Minister Parapolo said.
The three key objectives of the forum are:
•To drive investor interest and confidence in the destination
•To identify and address key impediments
•To achieve 50,000 visitors and 700 rooms by 2027
Currently, the tourism sector records a total of 188 accommodation facilities registered with SIVB. This translates into a total of approximately 1,854 rooms and further translated into 3,685 beds inventory nationwide.
There are opportunities for further tourism investments to ensure the right capacity and quality to respond to market demand and increase in visitor arrivals.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is expected to formally open the Forum which begins tomorrow and will conclude on Friday July 14.
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