The New Zealand High Commissioner last week, met with with members of the Western Province Tourism Association (WPTA) in Munda.

The WPTA is made up of 18 tourist operators and businesses from Western Province, currently led by Kilo Paza who is the owner of Titiru Eco Lodge.

The discussion was an opportunity for our High Commissioner Georgina Roberts to directly understand from tourism operations their current challenges due to COVID-19. Border restrictions have severely impacted the tourism sector in Western Province as international (and even domestic) guests suddenly couldn’t travel.

Some of the WPTA members are recipients of New Zealand’s Western Province Tourism grant and loan funds, and they conveyed to the High Commissioner how these funds have enabled them to upgrade their accommodation and/or tourism products.

High Commissioner, Ms. Georgina Roberts reassured the group that New Zealand will continue to support the tourism sector in Solomon Islands as a form of inclusive economic development.

WPTA members told New Zealand High Commission of the value of the emergency funds that were provided by the New Zealand Government to help operators manage the impacts of COVID-19 and to support staff retention and operational costs.

Tourist business operators that attended the meeting were Munda Guest Haus, Agnes Lodge, Castaway Resort, Ibibu Transit Lodge, Qua Roviana Budget Accommodation and Titiru Eco Lodge.

Source: New Zealand High Commission Solomon Islands Facebook Page