Former Tourism Fiji chief executive Josefa Tuamoto has been appointed to head up the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau with immediate effect.

In the role, Tuamoto will be tasked with devising and implementing strategies that will position tourism as the main source of foreign exchange earnings for the destination within the next 10 years.

The appointment was announced in Honiara yesterday by the chairman of the tourism body’s board, Moses Tepai, who called on the local tourism industry to give Tuamoto its full support.

“This appointment represents a major achievement for this country’s tourism aspirations and is intended to play a key role in increasing our annual international visitor intake,” Tepai said.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Jo’s calibre on board - “Jo is held in very high regard on the international tourism stage, his reputation and the huge success he achieved for Fiji’s tourism precedes him.

“This is especially the case in those visitor source markets we see as being critical to the future growth of our tourism industry and in particular Australia, New Zealand and the United States.”

Tuamoto’s time at Tourism Fiji included a three-year posting as regional director Australia based in Sydney and three years as regional director for the Americas based in Los Angeles before he became chief executive in 2008, overseeing projects such as the high profile “Fiji Me” brand campaign.