Thursday, 27 September 2012

Conflict Bay Lodge featured in a new Tourism Magazine

The Conflict Bay Lodge is a pioneer to be featured in a newly published tourism magazine in the Solomon Islands. It is called "Foot Print Travels and Destinations". The magazine has been published electronically in the tourist markets on September 27, 2012, which was also the International Tourism Day.

But the Foot Print Travels and Destinations e-magazine will be published monthly. Thus, it can update the interested readers and those who will plan their trips to the Solomon Islands with variety of choices for their Solomon Islands experience.

According to the founder of the e-magazine, Mr. Niniu Oligao, the Solomon Islands have many things to offer in terms of tourism. But rarely have been marketed outside of the country.

Having passion and tourism/ hospitality marketing background from the University of the South Pacific (USP), Niniu said it is the right time to assist the small and medium tourist operators in the digital marketing era.

"Solomon Islands as a tourist destination needs to fully utilize the potentials and opportunities the changing communication technology is offering. We have to adapt to these changes in order to survive in the very competitive markets", he said.

He further commented that small operators like the Conflict Bay Lodge can be as equal as the five star resorts in their presence in the world of internet and social media. But one thing his e- magazine will consider is to ensure the products and services promised to the potential guests will in consistent with the actual guests consumptions.

The Foot Print Travels and Destinations magazine is a new comer in the digital markets; its priority now is to get the fellow tourist operators and potential visitors to the Solomon Islands to have confidence on it and start to market with it.

"I am learning the hard lesson of taking risk to assist those they need such help. However, the time is right for us to nurture and grow the tourism marketing in the Solomon Islands", said Niniu.


Capturing every foot print in the Solomon Islands: Founder of the Foot Print Travels and Destinations e- magazine. Photo: Greg Dime.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Another memorable moment in Marau for the Royal Couple

As the Solomon Islands as a nation is getting the attention of the world media, Marau Sound people have given another exciting and rememberable moment to the young royal couple, the Duke and Duches of Cambridge yesterday.

Catherine Middleton whose scandal topless photos have been going around in Europe, she seemed to laugh to see bare-breasted tribes women greeted them at the Marau airport in a traditional welcome ceremony along side white painted traditional warriors.

Two young women garlanding the royal couple at Marau Airport. Pic: Tim Rooke/Rex USA


Trying a trip of a life time in a traditional war canoe was something the young royal couple will never forget. The beautiful smiles on Prince William and Kate's faces as the paddlers graciously moving the canoe in the crystal Marau sea from Marapa Island to Tavanipupu Resort gave a second honeymoon feeling to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


Experience of a lifetime for Prince William and Kate Middleton in a traditional war canoe in Marau. Pic: Tim Rooke/Rex USA.

The royal couple seemed calm and enjoyed what no royal couple in the world had experienced before.

They landed on the exotic Tavanipupu island resort with smiles of joy.

This special treatment and hospitality symbolises the respect and honour the people of Marau in East Guadalcanal have for them.

People of Marau want to show the world how appreciative the rural people of Guadalcanal were for the arrival of the royal couple.

It is a slice of the natural hospitality the Solomon Islands people can give whenever a visitor arrives at their shores.



Sunday, 16 September 2012

KATE MIDDLETON AND PRINCE WILLIAM BRIGHTEN UP ISLAND TOUR


Express (UK)- THE Duchess of Cambridge had a last-minute change of wardrobe for a state banquet last night when her Solomon Islands hosts left her a stunning strapless dress on her bed.

Just half an hour before she was due to attend a state dinner she walked into her hotel room and discovered the bright pink and orange batik designed dress.

She had planned to wear a gown brought from London, but a royal aide said: “She tried it on, she loved it and she is wearing it.”

The dress came from a shop called Island Print and was in sharp contrast to her arrival outfit – an £840 turquoise, green and beige geometric patterned dress by Jonathan Saunders and a bespoke grey cocktail hat by Jane Taylor.

William already knew he was getting a gift of a colourful blue shirt because officials on the islands had checked his size in advance.

He asked Governor-General Sir Frank Kabui, the Queen’s representative on the islands before the banquet in the capital Honiara: “I have my shirt on. What do you think? Looks OK?”

A choir and traditional pan pipers in grass skirts with white body paint and beads entertained the royal couple at the feast.

Later in a speech to guests, William tried his hand at pidgin English. “Mifala barava Tagio tumas,” he said. “We thank you very, very much.”

William described their visit as a “great thrill” and added: “This land is the most beautiful place imaginable and the people of the Solomon Islands are amongst the most gracious and friendly we have ever met. The Queen told us this would be so, and as with so much else in her long reign, Her Majesty was absolutely right.”

Earlier, the couple were given a full military and traditional ceremonial welcome, including armed warriors in grass skirts, when they arrived at the former British protectorate by charter plane from Borneo. Their visit is the latest stage of a nine-day tour of south-east Asia and the South Pacific to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Marau Sound ready for the Royal couple

The Marau Sound people are well- prepare to receive the young royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton on Monday 17th of September 2012.

According to the Marau people they are honoured to host the royal couple.

Upon the arrival of Prince William and Kate at the Marau Airport, they will be greeted by traditional warriors. Then they will be transported to Marapa Island where there will be a showcase of Marau traditional activities.

The royal couple will be paddled in a traditional war canoe to the exotic Tanipupu Island where they will spend the night.

The Conflict Bay Lodge has arranged boat trip to cover that special event to those who are now booking their trips and spend their holidays purposely for that visit of the royal couple.

More than 100 international media personnel are in Honiara and some will travel to Marau Sound tommorrow.

Already many locals from the mountain villages and coastal areas of the Birao ward are already in Marau Sound area for the special visit tommorrow.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Conflict Bay Lodge is happy with visitor arrivals

Since its door opened in December 2011, the Conflict Bay Lodge's visitors arrivals have been consistent over the past months in 2012, though there were challenges along the way.

"Conflict Bay Lodge is new in the tourism market. But having taking a bold step to make its presence locally and overseas; with my fingers dug to the bottom of my pocket is not an easy thing", said Elisha Maumamura, the owner of the Conflict Bay Lodge.

What is so rewarding from his sacrifice is the steady arrivals of those who will help the lodge to continue its operation- the guests.

Maumamura said the guests coming to the lodge include the weekenders, those coming for holidays, workshops, and business.

As a beginner, the Conflict Bay Lodge will still learn from the experiences of the current operators. Some of them have been around for years.

But one thing which has been higlighted by a marketing personnel of the Conflict Bay Lodge this week is the fact that the Conflict Bay Lodge can do good in the tourism development in Marau Sound. If all the small local operators can come together under the banner of the Hatare Marine Park and forming a regional tourism authority to coordinate their affairs, they can be even better in marketing the uniqueness and the beauty of Marau Sound to the outside world and nationally as a destination to escape the city life and enjoy the natural beauty at somewhere different.

Elisha Maumamura under his family lodge at Marau Sound. Pic: Lu Liang 2012.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Returning to Guadalcanal 70 years after

On 7th August, 70 years ago, the Americans and Allies set their feet on Guadalcanal to turn the history of the Second World War in the Pacific a most talked about in history books, lectures, and colleges around the world.

Honiara over the next two weeks will once again a center of the international and local media of the upcoming activities.

Already some keen war visitors from the United States and other parts of the world are seen walking down the Honiara streets.

More excitements will come in next week as the Battle on Guadalcanal will be celebrated.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Festival of Pacific Arts fever

The Festival of the Pacific Arts 2012, in Honiara is just few days away. The festive mood is growing day by day as Solomon Islanders are greeting the visiting participants from the region and side line visitors around the world.

Honiara as one of the hot spots for the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FOPA) 2012, is flocked with both locals and outside visitors.

In a film statement, the Chairlady of the FOPA organizing committee Ms Doreen Kuper said she is hoping the outside visitors will be staying longer and visit the satelite venues apart from Honiara.

"The Solomons is not just Honiara. So, we have other venues just as exciting and beautiful. So I hope you will take time and go up there and to stay there", said Kuper.

She also highlighted there is no point to come long way and spend huge money for only few days.

And she highlighted that the Solomon Islands is prepare to receive their guests for the festival to showcase their unique cultures and places.

So why not visit Marau Sound during your stay in the Solomon Islands. Book with us now at the Conflict Bay Lodge.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Conflict Bay Lodge makes its presence in the local media

A new tourist operator has been established in Marau Sound. It got its name- Conflict Bay Lodge from a bay which is it situated at and close to the Marau airport, the Conflict Bay.
According to its owner Mr. Elisha Mamumarua the lodge can accommodate six guests at a time in his two rooms.
“Conflict Bay Lodge is not only offers accommodation to visitors. But outdoor activities like snorkeling, island tours, village visits, dug out paddling, and learning our traditional skills in food preparation, weaving, listening to traditional stories, Marau legends, and gardening are things our guests should not miss”, he said.
Its operation will not only bringing outside visitors and weekenders to Marau Sound. Rather, it is a source of incomes to local suppliers of foods, handicrafts, and form of employment.
Locally owned tour operator, Conflict Bay Lodge is a key stakeholder in the conservation of the Hatare Marine Park which has been launched in January 2012. Its belief in conservation of natural environment both on land and sea is a reason for its existence, as highlighted by Elisha.
Mr. Elisha said his lodge is anticipating in making its visitors satisfy with the experience in Marau Sound. And at the same time, their activities have minimal impact on the communities and the natural environment.
He said even though he now a tourist operator but he shares the same environment with rest of the Marau communities.
At the moment its strategy in the market is to make awareness of its presence and at same time trying to make sales.
To enjoy the Marau experience, Elisha encouraged both international visitors and residents in the Solomon Islands to stay in Conflict Bay Lodge.
For bookings, email conflictbay@yahoo.com. Or mobile 7402429
Solomon Airlines flights to Marau airport are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Conflict Bay Lodge: where it gives you a real Marau Experience

By Philip U.
Travelling in a fiberglass canoe powered by a 40 horse power Yamaha outboard motor was a new experience for me.  I made a more than three hours trip from point Honiara’s Yacht Club with a local boat owner and skipper with three other local passengers to Marau Sound, East Guadalcanal.
The sea was crystal clear with gulls flying over schools of tuna (bonitos) indicating to the fishermen in dugout canoes of another good catchment for their families evening meals.
We passed a beautiful white sandy island before heading to Aola station when our skipper point out that it is the Vulelua Island which used to accommodate the famous Vulelua Resort before it was destroyed during the Ethnic Tension on Guadalcanal. I was wondering if that beautiful resort could be re-developed to help in booming our country’s tourism industry.
As we approached Kaoka Bay, our boat skipper pointed out to an island at the tip of the eastern end of Guadalcanal. He happily said we were about to enter the waters of Marau Sound. My heart was pumping with excitement. I heard about the beautiful uninhabited white sandy islands, the traditional stories about Marapa Island and early migrations of the ancestors of Marau people from South Malaita and Are Are to Marau Sound using dugouts, and the first contacts of early European traders with Marau people which were fierce.
I was dreaming of another world with new experience anticipated from the place I would spend my three days.
We passed a white sandy island at the passage to the glassy Marau waters. It was really beautiful with pristine water and reef for snorkeling. But there were lots of tempting islands ahead as I looked out.
 Water around Maraupine (a white sandy island owned by an Australian family) and the Hatare fringing reef was a dream comes true for me. Pristine water, colorful corals, and warm sea temperature gives an ideal place for snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and swimming.  
Our boat was anchored at the Conflict Bay Lodge beach front and I was met by Mr. Elisha, the owner of the Conflict Bay Lodge which I would spend my three nights at.
Elisha is a teacher at Potau Primary School but has passion for tourism. As I chatted with him at the veranda of his lodge, overlooking the Conflict Bay water across to the beautiful uninhabited islands, he said his interest grew when he was a tour guide at Tavanipupu resort, the only upscale resort in Marau Sound.
“My vision is to establish this lodge to help in the sustainable development in Marau Sound. We are part of this community and as much as we can, we will contribute back to the communities in Hatare area”, said Elisha. “We helped in the establishment of the Hatare Marine Park with other local small operators over the past seven years”.
His dream for his lodge is to engage his visitors in community activities which will benefit the communities in long run. He anticipated establishing a Hatare Marine Park trust fund. Guests can donate in cash or in kind to conserve the marine park.
Locals admitted that the biggest fringing reef of Marau now a marine park has shown a big change in the pasts seven years. Abundance of fish and other marine lives are increasingly available as foods and source of cash incomes to local fishermen.
Kupai (Elisha is commonly called) has seen a bright future behind the two rooms accommodation he has developed. The Conflict Bay Lodge is there to provide employment opportunities to locals. Since its establishment in December 2011, the lodge employs three locals beside Elisha as housekeeper, security, and tour guide. He is optimistic in employing more locals as permanent and casual tour guides when his lodge runs more tours and other outdoor activities.