Australian Minister launches video, vendor guide for Solomon Islands handicrafts

As part of Australia’s ongoing support to boost cruise ship-based tourism in the region, Australian Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon Keith Pitt MP, launched a video and vendor guide for Solomon Islands handicrafts during the opening reception of the Australia – Solomon Islands 9th Business Forum held in Honiara from 24 – 26 July.

From left: Peter Maepioh, Assistant Minister Keith Pitt and handicraft producer, Jenny Taro, with a copy of the newly launched vendor guide. A video has also been developed by the PHAMA Program to provide tourists and local vendors with information on what handicraft items can and cannot be brought into Australia and New Zealand. Photo Credit: Australian High Commission

Solomon Islands has a reputation for high quality handicrafts. Production and sales of handicrafts is an important income source for local people. As cruise ship and other visitor numbers to Solomon Islands increase, there is significant potential to increase handicraft sales. However, a limiting factor in the sale of handicrafts is cautious buying behavior by tourists uncertain of the quarantine status of products and biosecurity requirements overseas.

The Australia and New Zealand-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program* has developed the video and vendor guide to provide information to visitors and local vendors on what can and cannot be brought into Australia and New Zealand, as the main markets for Pacific tourism, particularly for cruise ships.

The launch event was attended by Assistant Minister Pitt, Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Hunter Masuguria, senior representatives from the Solomon Islands Government and participants from the business forum, and selected local handicraft producers.

Speaking at the launch Assistant Minister Pitt emphasized the importance of growth in the private sector to the development of Solomon Islands and need for women’s participation, as can be seen in the handicrafts trade, to achieve this. 

Sandy Olsen, Vice President Corporate Affairs with Carnival Australia, applauded the launch and commented that the potential for handicraft sales can be hampered by lack of awareness of quarantine requirements which are now being addressed by the video and vendor guide.

Jenny Taro, Sandy Olsen of Carnival Cruises and Peter Maepioh at the launch of the Solomon Islands Handicrafts Vendor Guide. The guide will help tourists visiting the Solomon Islands to make informed decisions when purchasing handicraft items to take home. Photo Credit: Australian High Commission

Jenny Taro, a local handicraft producer who attended the launch, thanked PHAMA for developing the vendor guide, saying it will help producers and customers to understand requirements and lead to more sales of local handicrafts.

The video and vendor guide will be made available on board cruise ships and through Carnival Cruises, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Biosecurity Solomon Islands and other agencies. PHAMA will be supporting training for staff in these agencies and vendors and has also supported the development of similar video and awareness materials in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

For further information, contact Andrew Piper at or on +677 22365

Download the Solomon Islands Handicrafts Vendor Guide

Click on the following links to view media reports of the launch and related articles

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Pitt leads push to grow Solomon Islands economy

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