Monday, 5 March 2012 9:10 AM

Arts Festival Face Accommodation Shortfalls

The Director of this year's Festival of Pacific Arts says accommodating all of the participants in Solomon Islands may be a problem.

Robert Au says 3,000 participants from 22 countries are expected at the festival, which is the 11th since the event's inception in 1972.

Despite suggestions that organizers are scrambling to have everything ready in time Mr Au says the festival village in the capital, Honiara, is shaping up well.
But he says there's a shortage of accommodation.

"We have only more than about a thousand rooms that are available within the country and all the major hotels here are fully booked. We have engaged three of those big hotels."

It is understood that there are currently discussions with private home owners, with organizers exploring the possibility of offering home-stay to visiting groups.

It is understood that improvements of boarding schools in Honiara appears to be the immediate solution for entertainers, with work expected to begin within the next month.

Robert Au says he expects an influx of Solomon Islanders from other provinces to swell Honiara's population by an additional 50,000.

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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
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