Makira Leaders Urged to Prioritize Tourism Investment over Logging

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A community elder from Anuta Island in West Makira constituency in the Makira/Ulawa Province is calling on the newly elected leaders of the Makira/Ulawa Province to invest more in the tourism sector.

Hansel Borisau, a teacher by profession and one of the key organizers of the Anuta Island Bird Watch activities that bring tourists to Anuta Island, says that leaders of the Makira/Ulawa Province should consider focusing on developing the tourism industry in Makira/Ulawa Province as there are many untapped potential tourism sites that are still not known in the outside world because of their remoteness.

“Our leaders need to look into ways to develop and promote tourism in the Makira/Ulawa Province because, spread across the Makira Ulawa Province, there are many untapped potential areas or hotspots that can attract tourists to come and visit during vacations,” Mr. Borisau says.

He adds that it is time that leaders change their focus from destructive developments such as logging activities and explore other areas that do not cause destruction to the environment or natural habitats.

“Let’s conserve our forests, and instead of doing deforestation, let us conserve our remaining forests and focus on tourism activities with our forests by protecting our natural habitats and biodiversity that we have in Makira/Ulawa province,”  Mr. Hansel states.

He says that his community has set the lead with their bird watching program, and he encourages other communities to learn from them and follow suit by offering visitors other leisure activities.

“The Anuta Island bird watching program has set the lead in the tourism business for other communities in the West Makira area, and other communities can learn from us and start setting up their own activities as there are many things other communities can offer for visiting tourists, like leisure activities, bush trekking, and many more activities,”, Mr. Borisau further stated.

Anuta Island in the West Makira region has been receiving tourists on their island for bird-watching expeditions since 2002 after they formed a partnership with Heritage Expedition Company, a New Zealand-based company in Auckland, through Destination Solomon Limited, which facilitates the visits to the Solomon Islands.

Makira/Ulawa Province hosts some of the country’s top potential tourism attractions that can be explored for development in the tourism sector and has a rich cultural diversity.

SOURCE: MASI Stringer in Makira/Ulawa

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