Government is turning to tourism as its next revenue pull with the pullback of logging operations in the country.

Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua said the shift from reliance on logging as their main source of revenue has provided them an opportunity to expand into other sectors like tourism.

He said tourism has potential to generate much needed revenue for the country.

"We have some of the best beaches and scenic scene in the world and our scuba diving is highly rated."

"In view of the increasing flights servicing our shores, and the increased number of hotel accommodation, we are receiving an increasing number of visitors," Prime Minister Sikua said.

He revealed that in 2008 alone, the country received 22,023 visitors, a 45% increase from 2007.

"This is the highest number recorded so far for any one year in tourist number," Dr. Sikua said.

He said their government is "desirous" to continue promoting tourism, especially eco-tourism and eco-lodges.

This, he said, will engage Solomon Islanders in activities which cause minimal damages to the environment.

Dr. Sikua said introduction of tourism training at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education this year will, in the near future, boost the local tourism industry here.

"Hopefully in the not too distant future, tourism can become a major income earner in the country," Prime Minister Sikua said.

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