Minister of Culture and Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo has made a courtesy visit to the Office of Guam’s Lieutenant Governor, Ray Tenorio, on Thursday, 2nd June.
Minister Parapolo is in Guam leading the Solomon Islands delegation at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPac) in Guam where he also attended the Pacific Culture Ministers Summit last week.
At the courtesy meeting, Minister Parapolo thanked the Lieutenant Governor for the warm hospitality accorded to the Solomon Islands delegation by the Government and People of Guam for the past two weeks.
He also presented gifts of Solomon Islands iconic carvings to the Lieutenant Governor as a symbol of appreciation from the Government and People of Solomon Islands.
The two leaders discussed some possible areas in which Solomon Islands could learn from Guam’s flourishing tourism industry.
“We are keen to learn from your tourism experience because our delegation has seen how impressive your tourism infrastructure is and the amazing number of visitor arrivals that Guam has received annually,” Minister Parapolo said.
Minister Parapolo said Guam and Solomon Islands share some common products such as the World War II history, beaches and some great diving sites.
“We want to establish some working relations between our two Governments in the area of Tourism and I will ask my officials to start working on this idea,” Minister Parapolo said.
One area the two leaders touched on is the establishment of legislation in regards to the protection of World War II remains, which, Guam is willing to share with Solomon Islands.
Lieutenant Governor Tenorio said Guam is happy to assist Solomon Islands where ever possible to develop its tourism industry and economy.
“We are keen to help you and we are looking forward for further discussions on these common interests,” he said.
Guam, according to the Lieutenant Governor receives around 1.4 million tourists a year.
Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Culture and Tourism, Moses Tepai who accompanied Minister Parapolo has thanked the people of Guam for successfully hosting the FestPac this year.
He said Solomon Islands and Guam have ‘actually’ raised the profile of the premier cultural event to new heights in terms of its scope and size.
“This is very pleasing and we should continue to improve on from here to preserve and promote our pacific cultures to the outside world,” Mr Tepai.
The Ministers delegation includes Mr Tepai, Director of Culture, Mr Dennis Marita, staff of the Solomon Islands Museum and a cultural performer.
The Minister is expected back in the country tomorrow Sunday 5th June.