Senior Solomon Islands tourism officials visited Japan last month to sell the country as a tourist destination to Japanese tourists. The officials visited the Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), the Tokyo based office of the Pacific Trade Invest network. Andrew Nihopara, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Solomon Islands, and Berney Sivoro, Director of the Department of Tourism of the ministry met with PIC Director Roy Saito to discuss potential avenues to promote the recognition of the country in the Japanese market and attract tourists.

They discussed activities like marine diving, very popular among Japanese tourists, sites for which are available around the Solomon Islands, as possible ones to promote. They agreed that while it is necessary to accommodate more stable facilities it would be useful to employ Japanese instructors, for increasing interest among Japanese divers.

These could well be combined with other enjoyable activities to cater to wider tourist interests. In the meeting, they shared the understanding that the availability of facilities and infrastructure were important to attract tourists to the islands.

PIC Director Saito said, “The function of PIC Tokyo is to support the economic developments of the Pacific island countries through trade, investment and tourism, so we would make an effort to increase Japanese tourists to the Solomon Islands in cooperation for their tourism measures”.

He also said that the restarting direct flights between Fiji and Japan this year would further lead to increase in the demand of tourism in the Pacific Islands countries.

Mr. Nihopara expressed his appreciation to PIC Tokyo on its continuous support. He said his ministry would work on developing markets in Japan and keep exchanging opinions with PIC Tokyo for increasing tourists to the Solomon Islands.

In 2017, PIC Coordinator Reiko Takada had visited the Solomon Islands.

For more information email Pacific Islands Centre’s Promotional Coordinator Reiko Takada at rtakada@pic.or.jp

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