Solomon Islands needs twice the number of hotel rooms currently in the country if it’s to reach its annual target of 60,000 visitors by 2025, the tourism authority says.
Currently the majority of tourists visiting the South Pacific are booking their travel through wholesalers.
Tourism Solomons chief executive Josefa Tuamoto, who has just become a board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the wholesalers needed to be able to provide access to a minimum of 700 quality rooms.
However, the Solomons only has about 360 rooms, Mr Tuamoto said.
“The main issue here is the number of rooms, the quality of rooms that we have in the Solomons is quite limited. So our government is pushing really hard to entice investments – getting the right type of investments.
“Targeting inventory so that you get the right inventory here because once you get the inventory then you can have access through flights.”
It is hoped a rebranding exercise will also improve visitor numbers, Mr Tuamoto said.
Last year, the the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau was rebranded Tourism Solomons at the same time the new national brand, ‘Solomon Is.’ was launched.
The abbreviation of islands shares the same spelling as ‘is’ – a play on words the authority says forces everyone to look twice, to see “Is. adventure, Is. diving, Is. romance… or whatever else they may experience”.
“It’s well received particularly by the locals here in Solomon Islands. They are very proud of it and they own it,” Mr Tuamoto said.
The rebranding also involves new imagery for advertising material and the development of sales tools for international travel agents.