Solomon Islands has taken a key step in advancing its tourism industry with the launch of guides for investors and the government, to ensure this vital sector remains a long-term driver of job creation, sustainable economic growth, and benefits for many people.
Tourism is an important part of the Solomon Islands economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it accounted for 10.5 percent of GDP. The Solomon Islands Government is committed to building up the tourism industry and elevating the archipelago to be a prime tourist destination in the Pacific Islands. With the launch of these comprehensive guides, the government and IFC have provided clear explanations on how to invest in land for tourism development, how to identify and select land, and provide a selection of potential tourism development locations.
“Tourism is a key priority for our government. It offers great potential and opportunities for Solomon Islands. For this to happen, investment in the tourism sector needs to be supported and accelerated,” said Solomon Islands Minister for Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo.
“While the Solomon Islands Government has made clear its commitment to building up the tourism industry, and in turn creating jobs and wealth, we also recognize the crucial role that the private sector can play as an engine for growth.”
The Solomon Islands Tourism: Investor Guide can help investors understand the process of investing in land for tourism projects. It provides practical information on registered land leases and development. Alongside the guide, over 60 sites with potential for development are showcased in the Solomon Islands Tourism: Western Province Investable Sites portfolio. This information also features prominently at the Solomon Islands’ display at Expo 2020 Dubai, underscoring its marketing value to the tourism sector.
These publications come after an IFC assessment in Solomon Islands’ Western Province in 2018 showed tourism investment was being held back by a lack of identified land with clear legal status. Poorly documented and unreliable information on potential development land was also a barrier. A lack of information could result in unclear land ownership, rendering a site unattractive to investors.
A survey of registered land in Western Province was subsequently conducted to address these issues. It identified more than 60 initial investable sites with registered land title. To help the government continue to identify investable sites across the nation, the Solomon Islands Tourism: Investable Site Identification and Selection guide was also developed.
“Solomon Islands is a beautiful country with tourism potential. Australia is pleased to support the Solomon Islands government and IFC in their creation of these important guides. We hope they will help drive sustained growth from this industry once borders reopen, including attracting more investors and tourists from Australia and around the world,” said Australian Acting High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Sally-Anne Vincent.
“We have seen the benefits brought by tourism to nations across the Pacific. Sustainable tourism investment represents a great opportunity for Solomon Islands to drive sustainable growth across the country to benefit all. New Zealand values our partnership with the Solomon Islands government and IFC in these important initiatives,” said Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission to Solomon Islands, Kate Bradlow.
A good investment climate can generate foreign currency receipts, upskill labor, close infrastructure gaps, and spur entrepreneurship, helping to create jobs and support economic growth.
“A vibrant private sector is essential to creating jobs and helping the Solomon Islands diversify its economy,” said Kim-See Lim, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “It also has a key role to play in reigniting economic growth in the wake of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Improving the investment climate, including in the tourism space, will be critical.”
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
IFC’s work in Solomon Islands is guided by the Pacific Partnership. Australia, New Zealand, and IFC are working together through the Partnership to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in the Pacific.