Wednesday, 1 June 2011 9:52 AM

Close Down SIVB: Western Tourism Operators

Western Tourism Operators have called on the National Government through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to close-down the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB).

The operators have expressed their unhappiness with the Bureau during a meeting with the Minister of Tourism and Culture Samuel Manetoali in Gizo last Friday.

SIVB is a statutory organization tasked with promoting and marketing the country's tourism industry to the outside world.

However, Tourism Operators in the Western Province say the Bureau is not performing its mandate over the years and this has affected visitor arrivals in the country, particularly in the Western Province.

The group suggested that SIVB should be abolished because it fails to lift the standard of tourism and the government should invest more in Provincial Tourism Associations or Councils who are currently active in their own promotions and marketing.

Some members of the group added that a lot of money has been injected into the Bureau but there is very little outcome in terms of proper coordination between them and the Bureau over the years.

In responses, Minister Samuel Manetoali says that it is important that SIVB works closely with Provincial Tourism Associations to improve the image of Tourism in our country. Minister Manetoali also assured operators that he will look into the matter.