Solomon Islands: The need for greater acceleration in tourism, accommodation and holiday packages.
Towards the end of January this year, the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) Andrew Nihopara, reportedly said, “Many of our tourism facilities (accommodation) are well below standard.”
Mr.Nihopara said based on the 2025-2019 Tourism development strategy the Minimum Standard Roll Out is one of the key highlights the ministry is working on to improve tourism accommodation.
Similar views to that expressed by the PS have been mentioned in articles featuring in the on-line publication Solomon SB Herald in recent days.
Wood exports from the Solomon Islands in 2018 were valued at US$426.7 million and equated to 75 percent of total exports.
The export trade in round logs cannot continue for very much longer and tourism must be given priority if government revenue is not to suffer once the trade in wood and wood products does reduce substantially.
In 2018, the leading decliner among Solomon Islands’ top 10 export categories was fish via a -55.6% drop year over year.
In the same year, meat or seafood preparations were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 811.1% since 2017.
In second place for improving export sales was cocoa which rose 95.7%.
According to data published by Forbes Global rankings, the following export product groups represented the highest dollar value in Solomon Islander global shipments during 2018 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represented in terms of overall exports from Solomon Islands.
- Wood: US$426.7 million (75% of total exports)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $40.8 million (7.2%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $32.5 million (5.7%)
- Fish: $22.6 million (4%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $21.3 million (3.7%)
- Cocoa: $8.6 million (1.5%)
- Oil seeds: $6.9 million (1.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: $3.2 million (0.6%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $2.5 million (0.4%)
10. Machinery including computers: $1.1 million (0.2%)
A loss of US$500 million or more when wood exports cease will put the Solomon Islands economy in great difficulty and why the move to improve facilities and services for tourists must be accelerated, coupled with effective marketing and holiday package incentives.
Equally, the heralded infrastructure and developments promised must not be much further delayed, given the likely help from the USA, New Zealand, Japan and China.