Solomon Islanders - the “happiest bunch of people around”
Strong recognition for the ‘Hapi Isles’ and a direct result of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau’s international media visitation program, the country has been named one of the “friendliest for tourists” by Australian travel writer Tatyana Leonov.
Writing for the influential Fairfax Media ‘Traveller” pages in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Ms Leonov described the Solomon Islands as one of the “few countries that really stand out because of the generosity and warmth of the people.”
Visiting the destination in July, Ms Leonov said wherever she went she felt welcomed.
“When customs officials meet you with a wide grin and boat skippers laugh when they accidentally damage their own boats, you get a sense of what a country is like,” she wrote.
“I quickly figured out why everyone is so happy here. The things we care about – keeping up with the Joneses and high-stress jobs – are trivial in the Solomon Islands.
“With food in their bellies and a roof over their heads, Solomon Islanders are the happiest bunch of people around.
“Most of the residents don't have a full-time job as such, instead they fish and forage during the day and eat and laugh well into the night.
“Come one, come all seems to be the message here. Wherever I went I was welcomed, and whatever they had was shared with me.
“Simplicity and authenticity at its best.”
SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo Tuamoto said having the Solomon islands positioned so positively in such an influential media vehicle represented a major coup for the destination.
“This is very high praise indeed from a seasoned travel writer who regularly visits a multitude of different destinations on an annual basis,” he said.
“More to the point this is indicative of the strong return on investment we are achieving for the Solomon Islands via our international media visitation campaign which we look to continuing with even more gusto into 2015.”
While in the Solomon Islands Ms Leonov visited Honiara, Gizo, Morovo Lagoon and Munda with the assistance of the SIVB and Solomon Airlines.
Her packed itinerary included a village stay, visits to WWII museums and sites, fishing, snorkelling and bushwalking.
Her article – ‘Which country is the friendliest for tourists?’ - can be viewed at http://www.traveller.com.au/which-country-is-the-friendliest-for-tourists-11m5if