THE Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau is looking at ways to increase visitors from the USA.
USA tourists have already contributed millions of dollars to the Solomon Islands and the bureau would like to attract more big spending Americans, said Elison Kyere, senior marketing officer for the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB).
The rising number of USA visitors to the Solomon Islands since 2016 has contributed much to our economic development, he said.
“The tourist visitors from USA who came to Solomon Islands since 2016 have contributed a total amount of $SB40.8 million. In 2016 there were 1,152 visitors and that number, according to data reports, contributed $SB19.5 million.
“And in 2017 it increased to 1,257 visitors who contributed to $SB21. 3 million.”
“That is why we have now established a Public Relation Officer (PC), who is based in the USA to help us with the work of targeting USA tourists through media, tourism media blogs and other mediums to promote Solomon Islands as a destination for USA visitors.
“And for this month we started bringing in some bloggers from USA to improve the visibility of Solomon Islands. There is one blogger at Tulagi and we sent one to Gizo.
“During their short travel to these places they took part in tourism activities such as diving, snorkelling, and bird watching and afterwards he will do editorial write-ups on website blogs,” Kyere said.
“In the digital technology world today people don’t always buy print media papers to look for travel information. People look for travel related information on their mobile phones.
“Therefore such blogging has to be one of the most important tactics in being able to tell or engage your customers to your brand, which is Solomon Islands.
When we bring in bloggers and they create and share awesome blog content that connects with the ideal customers, who will hopefully share it. That is how we spread the word further about our product or service as it will bring more people,” Kyere said.
Solomon Islands face a lot of challenges competing with other Pacific island countries like Fiji, Tahiti, and New Caledonia when it comes to the USA market because the country doesn’t have direct flights to USA.
“Solomon Airlines doesn’t have connecting flights. It is quite expensive for our government to offer this service and that is why we continue to use Fiji airways as a way of contact for tourist visitors.”
Hopefully, informing visitors by using bloggers will make an impact for the Solomon Islands, he said.