SOLOMON ISLANDS TO REDEVELOP AHUNA ISLAND TOURIST RESORT

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 19 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The ill-fated Ahuna Island Tourist Resort in the Solomon Islands' Central Province, which was once the pride of the country's tourism industry, is expected to be up and running again by the first quarter of 1999.

The plan was made public by Tourism Minister Enele Kwanairara while explaining the government's involvement with the tourist facility, which was burned down following a dispute with landowners more than 10 years ago.

Kwanairara told Parliament that negotiations now are underway with the Australian based Islands Hotels company on an agreement to redevelop the project.

He said the government is considering offering development incentives, such as a tax holiday and the exemption of duty charges on necessary construction materials.

The minister said construction work will begin as soon as an agreement is finalized and the company pays a land use fee of $US 840,000.

Islands Hotels also owns the King Solomon Hotel in Honiara and the Gizo Hotel in Western Province

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