A TOTAL of 15,385 international visitors/tourist have visited the country, generating an increase of 3.9 per cent in the latter/final quarter of 2018.
The Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) has revealed in its statistical report on International arrivals released recently.
Government Statistician, Douglas Kimi while releasing the report said:
“Of the total figure (15,385), an increase of 3.9 per cent was noted compared to the third quarter 2018.”
However, Mr. Kimi said compared to the same quarter a year ago, a decline of 5.1 per cent was recorded.
He stated that Returning residents made up 56 per cent of arrivals for the fourth quarter, followed by Visitors with 44 per cent of arrivals and the remaining less than 1 per cent were Intending residents.
“Visitor arrivals for the fourth quarter decreased by 14.4 per cent to 6,711 visitors, compared to the third quarter 2018 figure of 7,838 visitors. There was a 5.8 per cent decrease in visitor’s arrivals from fourth quarter 2017 to fourth quarter 2018.
“Arrivals by country of residence for the fourth quarter 2018 showed that Australians remain the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands with 39.5 per cent. There was an 8.4 per cent decrease to 2,650 in Australian visitors compared to the third quarter of 2018 figure 2,892.
“The next largest group of visitors were from Other Asia with 10.9 per cent, followed by New Zealand by 6.7 per cent, Fiji 6.5 per cent, Papua New Guinea 6.2 per cent, China 5.5 per cent, and Other Pacific 5.4 per cent,” Mr. Kimi stated.
On Visitor arrivals by month, Mr. Kimi said October recorded the highest number of arrivals in the fourth quarter of 2018 with 2,366 visitors followed by month of December with a total of 2,301 visitors and November the least with 2,044 visitors.
“Fourth quarter 2018 recorded a total of 2,538 tourists and they spent an average of 17.2 days in the country. Australian residents still made up the highest proportion of tourists by 40.7 per cent for the quarter and stayed in the country for an average of 17.4 days. Residents from the United States of America made up the next largest group of tourists by 8.9 per cent, followed by Other Asia by 6.7 per cent, Other Pacific by 6.0 per cent and Papua New Guinea by 5.5 per cent.
On Visitors by Purpose of Visit, Mr. Kimi said the most common reason for visitors visiting the Solomon Islands during the quarter was for Holiday and Vocation with 35.0 per cent, followed by Business and Conference by 25.6 per cent, visiting for Other reason 19.5 per cent, Visiting friends and relatives 17.1 per cent and Transit & Stop over 2.8 per cent.
“The distribution of visitor arrivals by broad age groups for the quarter showed that 72.6 per cent of Visitors were in the 25 years to 64 years age range. The youngest age group, 0 -24 years, represented 14.3 per cent of the arrivals while the oldest age group, 65 years and over made up 9.1 per cent of total visitor arrivals. The remaining 4.0 per cent were visitors who did not state their age. Male visitors represented more than half of the total visitor’s arrivals by 64.8 per cnet and female visitors made up 35.2 per cent of arrivals during the quarter.
“Visitor by Occupation showed that the “Other occupation” category made up the largest percentage of occupations by 36.6 per cent during the quarter, followed by “Professional and Technical” with 31.3 per cent, No work 13.0 per cent, Administration and managerial position 11.1 per cent, and Production and related workers 2.7 per cent.
“The most popular carriers during the quarter were Solomon Airlines who carried 49.4 per cent of total visitors, followed by Air Niugini by 26.1 per cent and Virgin Australia 16.3,” Mr. Kimi said.