Hailing the 2017 Solomon Islands Dive Festival a major success Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has described the event as the catalyst the country needed to underline its rightful position as one of the very best places to experience the underwater world anywhere on the planet.
The SIVB CEO said the success of the festival had done more to propel the Solomon Islands amazing dive capability and the quality of the local dive operators into the spotlight than any other event at any other time.
“There is nowhere else in the world than can offer the quality of our coral pastures and the depth and variety of our marine life and this event has truly showcased our capability to deliver an amazing product,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“Small wonder that Canon recently chose the Solomon Islands to film the footage used to promote its new underwater cameras – the company simply couldn’t find a better location for both clarity of the water and the marine life filmed as part of the commercials.
“We should all be very proud of this natural wonder and what we are doing to show it off to the world.”
Hosted by local operators with support from the SIVB and Solomon Airlines, the festival combined excursions, cultural activities, photographic competitions, and workshops into one very special event with focus given to two of the Solomon Islands’ best dive locales – Munda and Gizo.
The festival also featured the opportunity to experience a liveaboard dive boat aboard SIDE’s renowned specialised dive vessel, MV Taka.
Attracting a large number of predominantly Australian and New Zealand dive enthusiasts,
Mr Tuamoto said he as particularly gratified that the event had also induced attracted strong attention from the international dive media.
These included media representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the US and for the first time, Singapore.
Mr Tuamoto also praised the efforts of Dive Gizo and SIDE Dive Munda and local hoteliers – Rekona Lodge and Agnes Gateway Hotel – without whose support staging the event would not have been possible.
“This is only the second time we have staged the Dive Festival,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“We are aware we need to improve on our delivery of the overall event if we are to bring it in line with the very product we are so keen to promote to the world – the Solomon Islands’ amazing, pristine underwater environment,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“Moving forward this is exactly what we intend doing and with the expert local and international advice and support from partners we already have on tap to guide us, we are confident we will deliver an even stronger result in 2018.”
The 2018 Solomon Islands Dive Festival will be staged from 01-05 October with focus next year turning to Guadalcanal Province and the Florida Islands when Dive Tulagi and Raiders Hotel & Dive will take a prominent lead in the event.
(Source: Press Release Distributed on behalf of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau by Mike Parker-Brown 28 October 2017)