The main dive operators in the Solomon Islands
have agreed to combine resources and create a formal
representative body - Dive Operators Solomon Islands (DOSI).
The move follows a recent forum in Honiara
facilitated by Strongim Bisnis, an Australian government
initiative working in partnership with local companies and
operators to promote business growth.
Forum attendees included Tulagi Dive,
Raiders Hotel & Dive, Driftwood Solomon Islands, Biliki Cruises,
Dive Munda/Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions, Yawana Dive, Dive
Gizo and Uepi Island Resort.
Resort and Solomon Dive Adventures are also expected to become
Other stakeholders taking part
included the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Tourism Solomons,
Solomon Airlines, and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce &
Industry. Representatives from the Australian
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and NZAid also attended.
Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’
Tuamoto, said, “Tourism continues to grow in importance as a key
economical driver for the Solomon Islands and with international
divers making up a large percentage of the 28,000 international
visitors we host every year, we need to do all possible to ensure
we maximise the opportunity. Having a strong,
uniform voice with the ability to help raise and tackle pertinent
issues affecting this key sector is timely. This
voice in synch with stakeholders will enable us jointly to drive
what has the potential to act as a very powerful industry lobby.”
The Solomon Islands is renowned as one of the world’s
foremost dive locations.
Just last December the
Solomons Islands was named one of the world’s top 10 dive
destination’s in the prestigious annual ‘Dive Travel Awards’
conducted by the British-based
Dive Magazine UK. In 2017 CNN Travel ranked the
Solomon Islands as one of its 10 best snorkelling locations.
The destination’s 992 islands and unspoiled coral reefs
teem with huge numbers and unique varieties of marine
life. Add to this the dozens of WWII shipwrecks
and downed aircraft that litter the seabed, so much so that in one
area just a short journey from the country’s capital Honiara has
been renamed ‘Iron Bottom Sound’.