Bunyan ‘Barney’ Sivoro has been appointed as the permanent secretary for the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
He has been described as one of the country’s most prominent tourism identities, and said he is honoured and humbled by the appointment.
“It has always been my dream to see tourism become a major contributor to the country’s economy and social wellbeing of the people,” he said.
“Over the years, the Ministry has developed many well Intended policies and plans that only need the right support and resources to Implement and I’m excited to take up this challenge.”
Tourism is vital to the Solomon Islands economy. Its annual contribution to the nation is estimated to be $530 million.
With the country having fully reopened its international borders, Mr Sivoro is optimistic international travel will resume to help kick-start and restore the local tourism economy.
“MCT already has an Interim five-point tourism sector recovery plan in place that sets a road map for the industry both during and on a post-COVID basis,” he said.
“As we look to the restoration phase, we hope to return the visitor numbers and economic contribution of the sector to pre-COVID-19 status in the short term and look forward to resetting the industry with a new strategic direction.
“Our country’s unique selling point, our DNA, is epitomised by our culture and traditions.”
Tourism Solomons acting chief executive officer, Dagnal Dereveke said Mr Sivoro had already made a considerable contribution to the country’s tourism sector during his time with MCT.
“We are very excited to have Barney in the PS role,” Mr Dereveke said.
“We are confident that with our border reopening and tourists once again coming back to the Solomon Islands, he will play a pivotal role in establishing the tourism sector as a major contributor to this country’s economic future.”