Tourism Solomons CEO Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has sought the Australian and New Zealand government’s consideration to allow the Solomon Islands to be included in a ‘South Pacific travel bubble’. The Solomon Islands’ government has taken proactive steps since March, to close its borders to international travelers, keeping the country 100% COVID-19 free.
The Solomon Islands to be considered one of the safest travel destinations
The inclusion in the bubble would have a major impact on the Solomon Islands’ economic recovery, which relies heavily on tourism. CEO Tuamoto said, “That to one side we are confident, along with the extremely strict control measures we have had in place, which have prevented COVID-19 from entering the country, we are in a very strong position to be considered one of the safest travel destinations for Australians and New Zealander”
Tuamoto mentioned that the visitor arrival statistics for January 2020 had proven one of the destination’s best starts to a year on record, was ironic. “We kicked off the year very healthy- 61% increase over the same period in 2019, traditionally our strongest month- three months on and we are seeing an utmost minus 70% deficit in March,” he added.
Tuamoto also said that the COVID-19 infections in New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Tahiti (88 cases and zero deaths combined) could help resume Inter-Pacific island travel shortly. If this was to happen before the Australian and New Zealand governments announce their decision, he said, it could well prove the catalyst for speeding things along.