The Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government aims to double the number of tourist arrivals next year.

Addressing people in Gizo this week, Prime Minister Doctor Derek Sikua said the government would like to see the number of tourist arrivals double the current 15-thousand visitors per year to 30-thousand next year.

Dr. Sikua says to reach the target, the government is planning to build a second international airport in the Western Province, which is taking the lead in the tourism industry.

He says a second international airport is important to the government's overall objective because this will have significant impact on rural development and village livelihoods not only in Western Province but also across the country.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister commended the Western Province for making a significant contribution to the economic, political and social development of Solomon Islands.