Solomon Islands has seen a decrease in arrivals into the country during the first quarter of this year 2019, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).
Total arrivals for the first quarter 2019 were 11,849. This is a decrease of 23.0% compared to the previous quarter (4th quarter 2018). Compared to the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 2.2% was recorded.
These were highlighted in the visitors arrival statistics report released by NSO on 27 May 2019.
“Visitors made up 51% of arrivals for first quarter 2019. This was followed by Returning residents with 48% of arrivals and the remaining 1% were Intending residents.
“Visitor arrivals for the first quarter decreased by 10.3% to 6,019 visitors, compared to the fourth quarter 2018 figure of 6,711 visitors. There was a 4.4% decrease in visitors’ arrivals from first quarter 2018 to first quarter 2019,” the report revealed.
Visitors by Country of Residence
Arrivals by country of residence for the first quarter 2019 showed that Australians (37.9%) remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands. There was a 14.0% decrease to 2,279 in Australian visitors compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.
The next largest group of visitors were from Asia (12.4%), followed by New Zealand (7.4%), Other Pacific (7.1%), Fiji (6.3%), United States of America (5.8%), and China (5.0%).
Visitors by Month
Visitor arrivals by month showed that March recorded the highest number of arrivals in the first quarter of 2019 with 2,378 visitors. This was followed by month of February with a total of 1,891 visitors and January the least with 1,750 visitors.
First quarter 2019 recorded a total of 1,718 tourists and they spent an average of 14.9 days in the country. Australian residents still made up the highest proportion of tourists (38.3%) for the quarter and stayed in the country for an average of 13 days. Residents from the United States of America made up the next largest group of tourists (9.2%), followed by Other Pacific (8.7%), Other Asia (8.0%) and China (5.5%).
Visitors by Purpose of Visit
The most common reason for visitors visiting the Solomon Islands during the quarter was for Other reason (30.4%). This was followed by Business and Conference (27.4%), visiting for Holiday and vacation (23.8%), Visiting friends and relatives (13.6%) and Transit & Stop over (4.8%).
Visitors by Age Group
The distribution of visitor arrivals by broad age groups for first quarter 2019 showed that 77.3% of Visitors were in the 25 years to 64 years age range.
The youngest age group, 0 -24 years, represented 11.0% of the arrivals while the oldest age group, 65 years and over made up 7.9% of total visitor arrivals.
The remaining 3.8% were visitors who did not state their age. Male visitors represented more than half of the total visitors arrivals (72.3%) and female visitors made up 27.7% of arrivals this quarter.
Visitors by Occupation
Visitor by Occupation showed that the “Other occupation” category made up the largest percentage of occupations (42.7%) during the quarter. This was followed by “Professional and Technical” (25.6%), No work (9.6%), Administration and managerial position (9.2%), and Service worker (5.9%).
Visitor by Carrier
The most popular carriers during the quarter were Solomon Airlines who carried (44.2%) of total visitors, followed by Air Niugini (25.3%) and Virgin Australia (14.7%).
Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)/SICCI