The Solomon Star in the Solomon Islands has reported that the Culture and Tourism Minister, Bartholomew Parapolo (who has been the guest of honor at the Kodili Festival in Buala, Santa Isabel Island, this week) has announced that the Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) will continue to support the development and promotion of cultural festivals as a tourism attraction. Minister Parapolo said, “My ministry will continue to support cultural festivals that encourages rural participation, promotes tourism, encourages the preservation of our cultures and promotes nation-building.”
The minister believes that culture is very important to develop the tourism sector, and that in turn it will help bring about tangible development and business opportunities for the rural people. “From visitors survey conducted in the past by Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), culture and cultural experiences were highlighted as the number of reasons why people decided to visit our country. This shows that our cultures are very important strengths for the development of tourism sector,” he added.
Minister Parapolo also feels that their culture is very important not only in forgoing a sense of belonging and feeling of unity, but it has economic values when expressed through art, performance, artifacts and through sharing with different people. He uses the current the Kodili festival as an example where he believes that the festival will attract tourists to Isabel Island if it is promoted strongly in the future. He states, “Tourism therefore opens up new opportunities for our cultures to become tourism products and attractions.”
The Minister concluded his speech by telling the audience that the DCCG was happy with the initiative and would like to congratulate the provincial government and the people of Isabel for what they have done to put on such a wonderful festival.