The 75th anniversary of the Battle of
Guadalcanal has been attributed as the key factor in the Solomon
Islands recording its biggest ever August visitor intake since
arrival records began.
A total of 2,589 visitors arrived in
August 2017, a 34.98% increase over the 1,916 recorded in August 2016
with marked increases seen from Australia, the US, New Zealand and
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’
Tuamoto said the 75th anniversary had undoubtedly played a major
role in the result.
“Given the huge amount of
effort which went into promoting the event on a worldwide basis,
we were confident of an increase in our international visitors so
the result is very pleasing indeed,” Mr Tuamoto said. “Our amazing WWII history, our well-preserved battlefields and
our war museums continue to prove a major attraction and
especially, the huge amount of sunken ships and aircraft which
have made us such a mecca for the international dive market. The Solomon Islanders played a key role in the
Guadalcanal campaign and are incredibly proud that their country
was the place where freedom was fought for and ultimately won for
the South Pacific region.”
Australian figures again
continued to dominate, the 6,425 figure recorded for August a 3.4%
increase over the 2,016 total of 6,211, representing 35.41 of all
visitation for the month.
A total of 1,125 US
passport holders, a 5.63% increase over the 1,065 recorded last
year, visited across the month. Many of these US military
personnel on hand for the commemorative events and additionally,
the families of US veterans who fought in the Guadalcanal
It was a similar story with New Zealand
which also played a major role in the Solomon Islands during WWII.
A total of 1,108 Kiwis visited in August, a 5.63% increase over the
1,065 August 2016 intake.
Japanese arrivals jumped from 322 in August 2016
to 474, an increase of 47.2%, with almost all of the visitors relatives of the
Japanese military who fought in the campaign.
August 2017 figure has played a key role in keeping the
destination well on track for a positive year end with the 16,190
international visitor tally recorded for the period January to
August representing an 8.27% increase over the 14,953 figure
recorded for the same period in 2016.
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