Tourism Way Forward For CIP

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DESPITE other priorities during this Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, ‘tourism’ is eyed as the way forward for Central Islands Province (CIP) to base its economy.

This is according to CIP’s Premier Hon Stanley Manetiva when queried if tourism is still in the top priorities of the province during this pandemic.

There are copra, timber and other resources, but all of them have limitations which is why in Mr Manetiva’s view, through the tourism industry, CIP can move forward.

“As a province, I would like to say here that there are a lot of priorities. However, to me, despite hiccups experienced through this Covid-19 pandemic, I believe tourism is the way forward for CIP,” said Manetiva.

“This means that only on tourism will we know where we base our economy, especially in CIP. We have a bit of copra, and timber, we have some resources but all these resources will have limitations. As the current Premier and government of CIP, I believe in tourism no matter what the situation, tourism can move CIP forward.

“Looking at distance-wise, Honiara to CIP is about an hour and 20 minutes. So if we focus more on tourism, people will come to us rather than fly to other tourist destinations that are far away in distance.

“So I see the potential of tourism at CIP. We have beautiful beaches, we have the World War II relics on which in history, CIP used to be the bases of the Japanese and USA Marine providing potential for tourists to invest more in us. For the beauty of CIP, I see that the potential in tourism is there.”

It is understood that since the occurrence of Covid-19, international borders have been closed seeing a stop to international tourists flowing in and out of the country, resulting in a significant decline in visitors since last year.

As the country is looking forward to reopening its international borders by coming July, the Solomon Islands tourism sector currently is putting more effort into the preparation of the tourism industry players. Such as the ‘Covid-19 Extra Care’ training currently held throughout the country, being one of the minimum standards for all operators in the Solomon Islands.

At present, only domestic visitors continue to enjoy the service of tourism in the country.

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