Solomon Is­lands: A His­tory

Solomon Islands Business Travel Guide - - News - By Solomon Is­lands Vis­i­tors Bu­reau

A SCAT­TERED AR­CHI­PEL­AGO of some 990-odd richly forested moun­tain­ous is­lands and low-ly­ing coral atolls, the Solomon Is­lands has been at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional tourism since 1568 when Span­ish ex­plorer, Al­varo de Men­dana first sailed into this tucked-away corner of the South Pa­cific.

Men­dana’s legacy can still be found in the Solomon Is­lands to­day with many of the is­lands still bear­ing the Span­ish names he gave them; Santa Is­abel, San Cristóbal and per­haps the most fa­mous of all, Guadal­canal, the name syn­ony­mous with World War II which takes its name from a small town­ship in An­dalu­cia in South­ern Spain.

But for the most part, the Solomon Is­lands and their quiet, re­served peo­ple - a mix of Me­lane­sian, Mi­crone­sian and Poly­ne­sian cul­tures - were left pretty much alone af­ter Men­dana’s visit un­til 300 years later when Great Bri­tain was given con­trol of the en­tire ter­ri­tory.

Things changed dra­mat­i­cally dur­ing World War II and the Solomon Is­lands be­came a house­hold name when the forces of Im­pe­rial Ja­pan in­vaded, the re­gion be­com­ing the scene for some of the blood­i­est bat­tles in the Pa­cific theatre and most fa­mously the bat­tle of Guadal­canal when thou­sands of Ja­pa­nese and US ser­vice­men lost their lives.

2017 is par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant as it marks the 75th an­niver­sary of the Guadal­canal cam­paign.

The British re-gained con­trol in 1945 and in 1976, the Solomon Is­lands be­came self-gov­ern­ing be­fore gain­ing full in­de­pen­dence in 1978.

Lit­tle has changed in the Solomon Is­lands since then and it’s thanks to this that the Solomon Is­lands have be­come such a breath­tak­ingly fresh des­ti­na­tion for those in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers to get off the beaten track and look for a new and very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

To­day, World War II buffs, vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies - mostly Amer­i­can and Ja­pa­nese - as well as SCUBA divers and surfers look­ing for the ul­ti­mate un­crowded wave, make up the bulk of the 24,000 or so in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers who visit ev­ery year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Solomon Islands

© PressReader. All rights reserved.