A freshly produced map of beaches in Northwest Guadalcanal have been very popular with visitors to the Pacific Games. Available for free from Tourism Solomons booth at the Sports City precinct, the map was completed in time for the Games. Most visiting athletes and functionaries will have some free time during their stay in Honiara, and this map is an effort to encourage them to visit nearby beaches. Some of the operators near town, such as Hammock Beach, reported that many teams visited during the first week of the Games. A visit by Tourism division officers revealed that most of the operators had done a very good job of cleaning up their beaches in preparation for the event.
The map is also available at Tourism Solomons information center in Point Cruz (also known as SIVB). Apart from the short-term influx of visitors during the Pacific Games the map will be very useful for locals and expats wanting to explore the beaches in Northwest Guadalcanal. With 36 beach operators and accommodation providers listed, it is by far the most detailed tourism map of the region ever published.
MCT and Tourism Solomons now plan further collaborations. Tourism Solomon acting CEO Dagnal Dereveke is pleased with how well the map was received: “Now that we see the actual map in our hands we are already planning for the next edition with small additions and improvements. I think this map will be around for a long time, but we will keep updating it so that it reflects the situation on the ground. We are also planning other maps, for example a map of tourism attractions around Honiara for day-trippers. As demonstrated by the Beach Map we have the capacity in-house to produce good maps, so there is nothing stopping us from producing more maps to assist foreign and domestic tourists”.
This initiative was part of MCT’s Beach Development Initiative which have seen site visits, trainings, and infrastructure development along the coast of Northwest Guadalcanal. Tourism officers collected the data about the beaches which was then used by Tourism Solomons to design the map. Permanent Secretary Bunyan Sivoro believes this map will increase visitation to the beaches: “Previously people might have been confused about the location about some of the beaches, especially since many of them do not have any signs. Our staff have advised the beach operators to put up signs along the road. This together with the map means that visitors and domestic tourists have many more beaches to choose from. I really implore everyone who can to use this opportunity to explore the hidden gems of northwest Guadalcanal.”
In 2024 MCT will continue working with operators to improve standards of the beaches. Other challenges include the poor state of the road, security and the lack of organized waste management in the region. MCT will continue to lobby relevant ministries and donors on a solution to these issues.
A pdf of the map can be downloaded here