BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
A local tourism operator has acknowledged tourism as the most lucrative development in the country that touches people’s lives tangibly.
Laurie Leketo who runs the Kagata Homestay and surfing in Isabel province uttered this to Tourism Media Solomon in an interview recently.
Unlike other developments, Mr. Leketo said the tourism industry in the country really has a huge positive impact on the country, which people have physically felt and seen, especially those in the rural communities in the country.
“In my point of view, tourism in the country is the most effective business which has the most tangible benefits for and in the country which touches people’s lives.
“There are other developments like agriculture and fisheries which they too have contributed to this country’s economy, where only certain individuals and stakeholders benefiting from it.
“For tourism, both the operator and the entire community are benefiting. People opened their lands for adventurous activities like trekking, cultural sites seeing. They provide cultural entertainments, showcasing their way of life just to name a few and all these activities are not for free. An operator like me just bring in the tourists and provide them shelter.
“What I’m trying to emphasize here is, we all see and feel the real benefits of it, tangible benefits, Mr. Laurie said.
For Laurie, this is what tangible benefits meant for him.
Towards the end of last year (2019), Kia Community in Isabel province received donations from tourists that have been visiting the area in the past. The donated items include medical supplies for the clinic, school stationeries, clothes, tools and cooking items such as frying pans, saucepans as well as sports equipment like soccer and volleyball not to mention machetes.