Partnerships and digital connectivity were two themes that arose from a business round table held as part of the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands bilateral visit to Australia.
Tourism is a key economic driver in the Pacific Islands, globally travel and tourism contributes to 9.6% of employment and drives investment. Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia in partnership with Austrade and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade brought together key members of the Australian and Pacific tourism industry and the official delegation from the Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia and Australia’s High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands to discuss insights, explore emerging projects, and prospective future developments, SIG reports.
The session was chaired by PTI Australia’s Trade & Investment Commissioner, Caleb Jarvis who said there was real value in bringing together the private and public sector.
“Bringing together the private and public sectors valuable insights were raised, we had representatives from the Airlines, Carnival Australia and online platforms Trip Advisor, Booking.com & Airbnb as well as organisations with a depth of knowledge of working in the Pacific – Pacific Business Council, International Finance Corporation, Treasures of the South Pacific, Austrade and PTI Australia. Each brought a unique perspective to the dialogue both of the current reality of tourism in the Solomon Islands but also insights from what has and hasn’t worked in other Pacific Island markets.
There are some real synergies especially with Austrade’s work in tourism investment in regional Australia, their expertise in planning and developing tourism assets off the beaten track could help inform and accelerate the Solomon Islands tourism strategy. It’s important to have opened this dialogue and to see the potential for future collaborations that will assist the growth of Solomon Islands tourism in a sustainable way.”
The Solomon’s Islands delegation found the session very beneficial with the Permanent Secretary, Solomon Islands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Peter Kenilorea noting that they were encouraged by the openness of the discussions and the sense of collaboration.
“We are thankful to Austrade, PTI Australia and the Australian Government for providing this valuable opportunity, sustainable tourism is an area that the Solomon Islands is committed to grow; it’s a sector that crosses all aspects of our society and can return positive social and economic benefits if done right. We look forward to continuing these discussions and working in collaboration with Australia as we unlock the potential of the Solomon Islands as a tourist destination,” he said.