While Coronavirus (COVID-19) has severely impacted the Solomon Islands tourism industry, the country has nevertheless achieved strong success in improving its global ranking as a destination for adventure tourism.

The Australian Government initiative, Strongim Bisnis, has been supporting some tourism businesses in Solomon Islands, both before and during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to develop adventure tourism products. It now congratulates those tourism businesses for their contribution to this achievement.

In the 2020 Index just released, Solomon Islands has climbed 40 places – more than any other Pacific Island country – in a global ranking system called the Adventure Tourism Development Index (ADTI).

The ADTI examines how safe and welcoming a country is to adventure tourists, what type and quality of adventure is on offer and the country’s readiness to offer sustainable adventure tourism focusing on elements such as infrastructure and cultural resources.

This year, Solomon Islands has climbed from its former ranking as 149th in the world, to the new ranking of the 109th best country for adventure tourism. By contrast, Fiji (currently ranked 37th) improved moderately by 28 places, Papua New Guinea improved by 12 places to rank 116th and Vanuatu dropped seven places to rank 85th in the world. The top five highest-rated countries for adventure tourism in 2020 were Iceland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Chile and Israel.

Solomon Islands’ achievement is significant, given the Solomon Islands Government reports that tourism is one of the country’s most affected sectors in 2020. It is expected to record an approximately 60% drop in tourism activity this year.

Australian High Commission, First Secretary Economics, Cailin Lucas, said “The Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government to help the economy recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Tourism has been severely affected and we are pleased to see the Solomon Islands being recognised for its potential as an adventure tourism destination.”

According to the ADTI, adventure tourism activities include bird watching, camping, caving, climbing, kayaking, white-water rafting, sailing, scuba diving, surfing and trekking.

Strongim Bisnis has been supporting tourism businesses in developing some of these activities, in particular trekking and scuba diving. While COVID-19 has severely impacted Solomon Islands’ tourism industry, support to these activities assists the industry’s future recovery and helps position Solomon Islands more strongly within the adventure tourism market.

Strongim Bisnis is an Australian Government funded program that supports growth in the tourism, cocoa and coconut sectors with a strong focus on supporting women.

Source: Strongim Bisnis