A Solomon Islands tourism mission led by the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has visited Port Moresby to meet with senior PNG tourism officials to discuss ways in which both countries can combine resources to mutually benefit via increased international visitation and in particular from the key Asian markets.
While in Port Moresby the Solomon Islands mission held meetings with their PNG Tourism Promotion Authority counterparts and also Air Niugini CEO, Simon Foo with conversations centring beyond visitation numbers to the potential joint investment in tourism projects offers both destinations.
Speaking at a media conference taking place in the iconic Airways Hotel in Port Moresby, Mr Tuamoto said the meeting was timely given the huge potential a combination of resources offered to both destinations.
“As Melanesian neighbours we share many similarities and from the perspective of building our international tourism numbers, we both have the same aspirations,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“So it makes sense for both our tourism sectors to come together to look at ways in which we can mutually benefit from a combination of resources.
“PNG visitors currently are our second biggest source of international arrivals after Australia and the recently signed accord between Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu and Solomon Airlines offers huge benefit to the region.
“But we also see huge opportunity from working closely with Air Niugini via its Asian gateway which has the potential to act as a major conduit for international visitation for our both our countries and the Melanesian region in general.
“Tourism is fast emerging as a major driver for the Solomon Islands’ GDP and our government had embarked on a very vigorous process to seize on the opportunity tourism presents.
“This first visit to Port Moresby truly underlines just how serious we all are about realising this potential for the Solomon Islands and also the mutual benefit a combination of resources offers to both our countries.”
Mr Tuamoto acknowledged the support of Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency, Mr Barnabas Anga for the hands on role he has played in making the visit a possibility.
“We are extremely grateful to Mr Anga for his support in both supporting the mission and facilitating meetings for the SIVB team with key contacts both from the perspective of tourism and other investment opportunities during our time in Port Moresby,” Mr Tuamoto said.