Tips for busi­ness trav­ellers

Paradise - - Contents -

Visas

Free visas valid for 90 days are is­sued on ar­rival for most na­tion­al­i­ties, in­clud­ing Com­mon­wealth, US and Euro­pean vis­i­tors. To en­sure the visa is is­sued, vis­i­tors should have re­turn or on­ward tick­ets.

In­ter­na­tional/ do­mes­tic flights

In­ter­na­tional flights land at Ho­niara’s Hen­der­son Air­port. Air Ni­ug­ini flies from Port Moresby to Ho­niara four times weekly. See airni­ug­ini.com.pg. Solomon Air­lines flies through­out the coun­try. The do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal is two kilo­me­tres from Hen­der­son. A shut­tle bus connects the air­ports and costs $SBD35 each way. See sight­seesolomons.com.

Cur­rency

One Solomon Is­lands dol­lar (SBD) is worth around 0.41 kina and 0.13 USD. There are ATMs in the in­ter­na­tional air­port and in Ho­niara’s small CBD.

Get­ting around Ho­niara

Cen­tral Ho­niara is 12 kilo­me­tres from the in­ter­na­tional air­port. A taxi from the air­port to the CBD costs around $SBD200. Ma­jor ho­tels can or­gan­ise trans­fers. The coun­try’s of­fi­cial tourism site is a good place for travel in­for­ma­tion. See vis­it­solomons.com.sb.

Car hire

Avis and Econ­omy Car Rentals have a good va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles in Ho­niara. See avis.com.sb and econ­o­my­car­rentals.com.sb. Car hire and driv­ers can also be booked via travel agen­cies such as Guadal­canal Travel Ser­vices. See solomon­travel.info.

Busi­ness eti­quette

Meet­ings can seem in­for­mal – jack­ets and ties aren’t nec­es­sary, though a de­gree of flex­i­bil­ity is. ‘Is­land time’ can mean some peo­ple don’t show for ap­point­ments or, con­versely, meet­ings can be ar­ranged at short no­tice.

BUSI­NESS HOURS

Bank­ing hours are 8.30am or 9am to 3pm, Monday to Fri­day. Com­mer­cial hours tend to be from 7.30am to mid­day and 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Fri­day, and also Satur­day morn­ings. Gov­ern­ment of­fices open from 8am to mid­day and from 1pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Fri­day.

Safety

The Re­gional As­sis­tance Mis­sion to the Solomon Is­lands (RAMSI) has brought sta­bil­ity to the coun­try fol­low­ing 2003’s so­cial un­rest. RAMSI is to with­draw in the mid­dle of 2017. Through­out the Solomons it is safe to walk around dur­ing the day; how­ever, as for any­where in the world, cau­tion should be a pri­or­ity at night.

Health

It is ad­vis­able to take anti-malar­ial tablets, even if just vis­it­ing Ho­niara. Con­sult your doc­tor be­fore de­par­ture about malaria but also tetanus and vac­ci­na­tion for hep­ati­tis A and B. A ty­phoid booster is also rec­om­mended.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion

The Her­itage Park Ho­tel (see our re­view on page 120) is pop­u­lar with busi­ness trav­ellers and has a swim­ming pool and con­fer­ence rooms. See her­itageparkho­tel.com.sb. The five-star Co­ral Sea Re­sort & Casino opened this year. See co­ral-sea-re­sort.com. The Solomon Ki­tano Men­dana Ho­tel, next door to the Solomon Is­land Vis­i­tor Bu­reau of­fice, has a busi­ness cen­tre and con­fer­ence rooms.

Restau­rants

The Her­itage Park Ho­tel and the Co­ral Sea Re­sort have up­mar­ket restau­rants. At the Her­itage, guests dine in part of the gover­nor gen­eral’s for­mer res­i­dence. Haydn’s Steak­house at the Co­ral Sea Re­sort has mod­ern Aus­tralian and Euro­pean cui­sine. There is also a res­tau­rant, The Board­walk, fea­tur­ing South-East Asian street food at Co­ral Sea. There are also sev­eral op­tions away from the ho­tels. Sea King is the best-known of the crop of Chi­nese restau­rants. Taj Ma­hal (Sri Lankan and In­dian), just across the road from the Her­itage Park Ho­tel, has a very good rep­u­ta­tion. If you are af­ter great cof­fee and com­fort food, the Break­wa­ter Cafe and Lime Lounge are pop­u­lar ex­pat hang-outs in the cen­tre of town. The Bam­boo Cafe, run by and di­rectly next door to the King Solomon Ho­tel, is an­other good op­tion.

Cli­mate

Warm and hu­mid, with coastal day tem­per­a­tures av­er­ag­ing 28°C. May to Novem­ber tends to be drier.

Time zone

11 hours ahead of GMT.

Elec­tric­ity

240V AC 50Hz, us­ing Aus­tralianstyle plugs.

ENTERTA INMENT

Away from the larger ho­tels, many call into the Point Cruz Yacht Club for a beer af­ter work. Vis­i­tors can sign in. The Ho­niara Golf Club, just out of town, is also pop­u­lar.

me­dia

The Solomon Star (solomon­starnews.com) and the Is­land Sun are the lo­cal daily news­pa­pers. The Solomon

Times On­line (solomon­times.com) is the other lo­cal main news source.

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