Tourism Solomons wants to see more New Zealand product managers at its annual trade show next year. The second edition of Mi Save Solo was held in Honiara last week and for the first time also involved sellers from Nauru and Kirabati.
The event is hoping to attract other small Pacific destinations next year. Tourism Solomons chief executive officer Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto says that only one Kiwi wholesaler (travel&co) attended this year and the aim would be to have at least six in 2020. ‘Wholesalers in New Zealand are telling us it is still quite difficult to sell the Solomon Islands.
Connectivity and price are both challenges that we need to work on.’ Tuamoto says New Zealanders travelling to the Solomon Islands are divers and adventurers. He says the trade has opportunities by selling into these and other niche areas.
‘The whole of the Solomons is a niche market really, but we talk about subniches like bird watching, diving, surfing, fishing, culture and history – including World War II history.’ Tuamoto says 80% of visitors to the destination book through traditional trade channels. ‘The New Zealand trade is extremely important to us and we will be holding a roadshow there early 2020. We would also definitely like to have more attendance at Mi Save Solo as well.’
He says 43 international buyers attended this year and the intention is to boost that to 60.’
(Source : TRAVELink MEMO 09th July 2019; issue 2015)