The Solomon Islands visitor arrivals by air grew by 8 per cent to 4,832 visitors to Solomon Islands in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.Similarly, visitors' arrivals for the first six months of 2009 (Jan-Jun), grew by 23 per cent to 8,805 visitors compared with the same period in 2008.
43 per cent of visitors came for Business and Conference, 26 per cent for Holiday and Vocation, and the rest for Visiting Friends and Relatives, Transit, and Other business. Visitors who came for Business and Conference grew by 12 per cent, while visitors who came for Holiday and Vocation dropped by 5 per cent in the second Quarter of 2009.
By country of origin, visitors from Australia made up 51 per cent of the total visitors in the second quarter of 2009, followed by New Zealand (7%) and USA (5%). Over 20 countries made up the rest. Visitors from Australia grew by 48 per cent in the second Quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.
By air carrier, Pacific Blue uplifted 39 per cent of the total visitors in the second quarter of 2009, followed by Solomon Airlines (35%) and Air Niugini (15%). Air Pacific, Our Airline, and unscheduled and military flights uplifted the rest. Of the total visitors from Australia, 55 per cent was uplifted by Pacific Blue, while 38 per cent was uplifted by Solomon Airlines. Air Niugini, unscheduled flights, Air Pacific, and Our Airline uplifted the rest.
General Manager Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Mr Michael Tokuru said, "In spite of the current global economic downturn affecting both the global and regional tourism, the growth in visitors' arrivals to Solomon Islands as shown in the second quarter and the first six months of 2009 is welcome. We are optimistic the number of visitors coming for Holiday and Vocation will pick up again in the third quarter of 2009".