PATA – putting the ‘P’ in Pacific with Solomon Islands visit
Fulfilling a pledge to visit the Solomon Islands, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO, Dr Mario Hardy last week paid his first official visit to the Solomon Islands.
The visit, the first by a PATA CEO is seen as a major step in initialising a strategy by his organisation to place more emphasis on its South Pacific activity.
Accompanied by PATA Regional Director – Pacific, Chris Flynn, Dr Hardy was welcomed to the destination by Solomon Islands Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo at the start of a three-day fact-finding exercise.
His visit included meetings with key ministerial staff including Permanent Secretary, Andrew Nihopara, Director of Tourism, Barney Savoro and senior Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) officials.
A result of these meetings will see PATA increase its activity in the Solomon Islands, this including the implementation of training programs intended to assist the local tourism in building its already steadily increasing international visitation.
Minister Parapolo hosted the delegation at a gala event taking place in the Coral Sea Casino & Resort.
He also accompanied Dr Hardy on a helicopter tour of West and East Guadalcanal, the Florida Islands and Marau Sound.
SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said the visit has proven a watershed moment.
“Having Dr Hardy here gave us a major opportunity to hear some expert opinion which has the capacity to further enhance the direction our current international marketing activity is taking,” he said.
“We are extremely happy to be working closely with PATA.
“Not only does this visit bode well for the Solomon Islands, PATA’s plans to increase its activity in the region benefits the entire South Pacific.
“PATA is definitely putting the ‘P’ in Pacific.”
Pictured (from left to right): SIVB chairman, Wilson Ne’e, PATA CEO, Dr Mario Hardy; Ministry of Culture & Tourism Permanent Secretary, Andrew Nihopara; PATA Regional Director – Pacific, Chris Flynn; Director of Tourism, Barney Savoro and SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto.