A record total of 16,233 tourist entered Solomon Islands (SI) during the final (4th) quarter of 2019 spawning an increase of 14.4 per cent compared to the year’s third quarter.
Government Statistician, Douglas Kimi revealed while releasing the quarterly statistical report on Tourist Arrivals, Tuesday 17 March.
“Compared to the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 5.5 per cent was recorded,” Mr. Kimi said.
He said according to the report, visitors made up 50 per cent of arrivals for the quarter.
“Likewise, Returning residents also accounts for 50 per cent of arrivals and the remaining less than 1 per cent were Intending residents.
“Visitor arrivals for the fourth quarter increases by 5.1 per cent to 8,109 visitors, compared to the third quarter 2019 figure of 7,716 visitors. There was an increase of 20.8 per cent in visitor’s arrivals from fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter 2019,” Mr. Kimi stated.
“Arrivals by country of residence for the fourth quarter 2019 showed that Australians recorded 34.0 per cent and remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands.
“There was a decrease of 11.3 per cent to 2,757 in Australian visitors compared to the third quarter of 2019 figure 3,108. The next largest group of visitors were from Vanuatu with 9.8 per cent, followed by Other Asians 8.5 per cent, Fiji 7.2 per cent, Papua New Guinea 6.6 per cent, China 6.4 per cent, United State of American 6.0 per cent and New Zealand 6.0 per cent.
“Visitor arrivals by month showed that December recorded the highest number of arrivals in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 3,053 visitors followed by month of October with a total of 2,761 visitors and November the least with 2,295 visitors.
“Fourth quarter 2019 recorded a total of 2,907 tourists and they spent an average of 14.6 days in the country. Australian residents still made up the highest proportion of tourists with 37.4 per cent for the quarter and stayed in the country for an average of 13 days. Residents from the United States of America made up the next largest group of tourists by 10.6 per cent, followed by Papua New Guinea 6.8 per cent, China 6.4 per cent and Other Pacific 6.4 per cent.
“The most common reason for visitors visiting the Solomon Islands during the quarter was for Holiday and Vacation with 31.8 per cent followed by visiting for other Reasons 25.7 per cent, Business and Conference 23.9 per cent, Visiting friends and relatives 14.5 per cent and Transit & Stop over 4.0 per cent.
“The distribution of visitor arrivals by broad age groups for fourth quarter 2019 showed that 71.6 per cent of Visitors were in the 25 years to 64 years age range. The youngest age group, 0 -24 years, represented 18.2 per cent of the arrivals while the oldest age group, 65 years and over made up 7.3 per cent of total visitor arrivals. The remaining 2.9 per cent were visitors who did not state their age. Male visitors represented more than half of the total visitors arrivals with 64.8 per cent and female visitors made up 35.2 per cent of arrivals in the quarter,” the report revealed.
On Visitors by Occupation Mr. Kimi said according to the report it showed that the “Other occupation” category made up the largest percentage of occupations with 38.9 per cent during the quarter followed by “Professional and Technical” with 33.4 per cent, No work 12.5 per cent, Administration and Managerial position 8.3 per cent, and Service Worker 2.3 per cent.
“The most popular carriers during the quarter were Solomon Airlines who carried 48.1 per cent of total visitors, followed by Air Niugini 28.6 per cent and Virgin Australia 14.2 per cent.
“Arrivals by country of residence to Munda for fourth quarter 2019 showed that Australians tops the record with 85.4 per cent and noted the largest group of Visitors followed by visitors from New Zealand with 4.9 per cent and United States of American with 3.7 per cent of the arrivals,” Mr. Kimi quoted the report.
Mr. Kimi also advised that it highly likely that tourist arrivals will decline in forthcoming quarters due to impact of the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) worldwide and in our region.