Tourism Solomons has called on the Solomon Islands Government to urgently reconsider a proposed ban of facebook.
Responding to a government announcement on Monday, Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said like many Solomon Islands-based businesses and the wider community, the organisation was heavily dependent on facebook.
“We view social media as a key vehicle with which to maintain our tourism profile in the current COVID-19 environment which has seen our international visitation grind to a complete halt,” he said.
“This environment has seen us turn to facebook as integral to our international marketing and overall wider engagement, so from our perspective this decision simply does not make business sense.”
Currently, he said, 80 per cent of marketing activity takes place on facebook, with just under 36,000 active users interacting with the national tourist office on a regular basis.
“In the last 28 days alone, we have reached over 131,000 people,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“As a good example of the reach we achieve, a recent post featuring Ms Solomons, Gladys Habu, learning to dive in the Western Province attracted attention from over 92,000 users.
“It goes without saying the platform has become vital in our efforts to keep the Solomon Islands top of mind and competitive on the world tourism stage for the time when things return to normal.
“No other social media platform comes even close to what we have been achieving with facebook.
“We urgently request the government’s assistance in reconsidering the proposed ban given the implications it will have.
“And not just for our tourism sector, but for all Solomon Islands businesses and the wider community in general which uses facebook as a key means of communication across our 992-island archipelago.”
A date for implementation of the proposed ban has not as yet been announced.