Tourism Operator Call to Upgrade Suavanao Airport

Spread the love


THE current state of Suavanao airport is a setback for tourism attraction and development in Isabel province.

Transportation has been an essential part of the tourism industry; it links tourists to various tourist attractions. Whether it be air, road, and water, there is a general agreement that tourism expands more when there are better transportation systems.

Local tourism operator, Laurie Leketo who operates a surfing hotspot in Isabel province experienced the reality of what transportation had to do with tourism.

Most of Leketo’s guests are surfers and being a surfer, one has to carry one’s surfboard wherever destinations of choice.

The Potential or should we say the easiest means of transportation to reach Leketo’s surf camp is by plane Twin Otter to be precise, and the likely airport to reach is Suavanao, an hour boat ride from the surf camp.

Laurie told Tourism Media Solomon that there are lots of international surfers that have huge interests in Isabel province, but he said the poor state of Suavanao airport at the moment has had a setback for him and other operators.

“The runway surface of Suavanao airport should have been tar sealed already by now.

“Cancellation of flights is our main issue since we operated ten years ago due to the deteriorating state of the runway,” he said.

In 2018 a maintenance and rehabilitation program was carried out by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation which saw a minor tidy up work that has been done.

Mr. Leketo said that for them to make good business depends on good infrastructure.

He explained that the Twin Otter is not catering for the surfers as it did not allow much space for his guests to bring all their surfing gear.

“So if the runway surface is tar sealed then they need to upgrade it, so it can cater to allow DASH8 services, which I believe more surfers would be interested to do surfing.

“The Twin Otter service is not reliable enough to carry a bunch of surfers with all their surfing gear.

“Isabel province has had big interests in terms of surfing, but poor infrastructure is the issue,” he said.

However, Mr. Laurie was still not convinced that smaller aircrafts services like the Twin Otter could solve the problem, and admitted that only DASH8 services are suitable for visiting surfers.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.