PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has launched the Tourism in Focus 2020 at the Heritage Park Hotel today.
Speaking during the occasion, the Prime Minister said the purpose of the Tourism in Focus event is to create the opportunity for the tourism institutions such as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Solomon Airlines and Tourism Solomon’s to discuss first-hand with tourism industry stakeholders on addressing key tourism development challenges.
The Prime Minister said it is also an opportunity to share information and plans to strategically address the priority programs in 2020 with the focus in adopting ‘low cost – high impact’ approaches.
“The Tourism in Focus 2020 theme is Low Cost – High Impact. Consequently, the themes of the last two years are relevant to this year. It is important to note that amongst the steps deemed fundamental to translate the vision of making tourism the key driver of the economy, we need to adopt a disruptive approach to speed up the transition,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
He said the disruptive approach includes challenging the status quo in terms of strategically exploring the fastest growing outbound tourist market of the PRC China.
“Given we are relentlessly striving to strategically tap the global tourist market amidst very steep competition and with limited resources, we must always aspire to ‘measure what matters’ to achieve our vision,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said measuring what matters most could only be effective for the Government, Tourism Solomon’s, Solomon Airlines, all tourism operators and stakeholders if we embrace and adopt a low cost – high impact approach to expending our limited resources.
“The application of this theme to your various undertaking might vary but the ultimate outcome will be the same – which is to maximize our yields within our means,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged the ongoing commitments and efforts by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism in creating investment incentives for tourism; improving current standards of our accommodation and tour sectors; facilitating land acquisition processes to secure both investor and landowners’ long term interests.
“I hereby note the ‘low cost-high impact’ approach by Tourism Solomon’s to strategically utilize its resources to effectively position Solomon Islands in the market place and continue to increase our visitor arrivals. While the annual targeted arrival growth rate is 9%, the strategic outcome of the collective efforts by Tourism Solomon’s and Solomon Airlines (as well as the private sector) is to increase the leisure visitor segment through the marketing programs overseas and with the Brisbane-Munda direct flight,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said his Government commends these strategic efforts and pledge its support to grow the tourism sector through incentivizing the private sector and through investments in infrastructure improvements.