Visitor arrivals decline by 15 percent in first quarter of 2023

May 31, 2023 | Visitors Statistics

The first quarter of visitor arrivals to Solomon Islands in 2023, records a total of 8,323 visitors, a decrease of 15.8% compared to the previous quarter (4th quarter 2022).

In contrast to the same quarter a year ago (during the Covid-19 period), an increase of 697.2% was recorded.

The National Statistics Office released the latest bulletin on Friday 26th May 2023.

The Government Statistician Douglas Kimi said, returning residents made up 52.2% of arrivals for first quarter 2023. This was followed by Visitors with 46.9% of arrivals and the remaining 0.9% were Intending residents.

“Visitor arrivals for the first quarter decreased by 7.3% to 3,900 visitors, compared to the fourth quarter 2022 figure of 4,207 visitors.

“There was an increase of 1,318.2% in visitor arrivals from first quarter 2022 to first quarter 2023.

“Arrivals by country of residence for the first quarter 2023 showed that Australia (36.6%) recorded the largest group of visitors to the Solomon Islands.

“This was a 19.7% decrease to 1,426 Australian visitors compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 figure of 1,775.”

The next largest group of visitors were from Other Asia (11.3%) followed by Fiji (9.2%), United State of America (9.0%), Papua New Guinea (6.7%), New Zealand (6.1%), Other Pacific (4.2%), China (3.5%), Vanuatu (2.8%), Japan (2.5%), and United Kingdom and Other Country (1.5%).

Visitor arrivals by month showed that March recorded the highest number of arrivals in the first quarter of 2023 with 1,529 visitors. This was followed by month of February with a total of 1,249 visitors and January the least with 1,122 visitors.

The first quarter of 2023 recorded a total of 1,222 tourists who spent an average of almost 14 days in the country. Australian residents made up the highest proportion of tourists (42.7%) for the quarter, with an average stay in the country of almost 14 days. Residents from United States of America made up the next largest group of tourists (15.5%), followed by Other Asia (9.2%), Papua New Guinea (7.2%), Other Europe (3.8%), Fiji (3.4%) and New Zealand (3.2%).

The most common reason for visitors during the quarter was for Business and Conference (30.6%). This was followed by Holiday and Vacation (28.8%), Other Reason (24.7%), Visit Friends/Relatives (13.4%), and 2.5% for Transit and Stop over.

The distribution of visitor arrivals by broad age groups for first quarter 2023 showed that 78.2% of visitors were in the 25 years to 64 years age range. The youngest age group, 0-24 years were 9.2% and the oldest age group, 65 years and over represented 10.0% of total visitor arrivals. The remaining 2.5% were visitors who did not state their age. Male visitors represented more than half of the total visitors’ arrivals (69.3%) and female visitors made up 30.7% of arrivals this quarter.

Visitor by Occupation showed that the “Professional and Technical” category made up the largest percentage of occupations (39.4%) during the quarter. This was followed by Administration and Managerial (17.2%), No Work (13.6%), Production and Related Work (7.7%), Other Occupation (6.3%), Service Worker (4.2%), Clerical & Related work (3.5%), Student (3.4%), Sales Worker (3.2%), Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (1.3%), and 0.3% for Not Stated.

The most popular carriers during the quarter were the Solomon Airlines who carried (66.3%) of total visitors, followed by Air Niugini (24.0%), Fiji Airways (6.6%), Unscheduled Flight (2.7%) and Air Nauru (0.4%)

There was no record of visitors from Brisbane to Munda flights since the reopening of International borders in July 2022. Munda international airport is yet to be reopened.