The ceremony was officiated by the Minister of Culture and Tourism (MCT) Bartholomew Parapola and the Malaita Provincial Deputy Premier Alick Maeaba.
Mr Parapola is currently leading a high level delegation from the Ministry, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) and Australian government who will be touring parts of the province this week.
The occasion was also witnessed by Malaita Provincial government executive members and members of the public.
Minister Parapola when speaking during the official ceremony said, the current government places high priority on tourism based on the recently National tourism strategic plan 2015-2019.
“The plan is a robust one and will include both the private sectors and resource owners.
“My Ministry is re-strategizing the way we do things in our nation building.”
As part of the new approach government through the Ministry is to establish provincial tourism offices, he added.
“This is so that we can be much closer to you in developing your unique tourism products.
“We have started in Gizo, Western Province last year and now we are here in Auki, Malaita Province.
“I’m confident the groundbreaking ceremony today (yesterday) marks a new beginning for our partnership to unlock the tourism potentials here in Malaita.”
Mr Maeaba speaking at the occasion also acknowledged the government for its recognition to ensure this tourism office is built in Auki to help promote and develop the tourism sector in the province.
The construction of the new office is expected to be funded by the government and work will kick off once tender process is finalized and a contractor is confirmed.
The Minister highlighted the tourism potential in the province, saying its huge.
“Malaita has a strong cultural heritage, unique products such as lagoons, the lakes, your flora and fauna, the artificial islands, the marine system and your people.
“How to turn this potential into benefits is something my Ministry is keen to work with you to unlock them.”
The delegation yesterday also visited the Langa Langa lagoon to see some of the tourism operators and attractions following the ceremony.
Today they will travel across to North Malaita to see how government could develop the dolphin calling into a tourism festival.
The delegation included Permanent Secretary John Wasi, Director Of Tourism (MCT)Barney Sivoro, Principal Tourism Officer Gregory Auta’a, senior tourism officer Hudson Kaefa, coordinator Solomon Island Institutional Strengthening Project Niniu Oligao, CEO Solomon Islands Visitors Bireau (SUVB) Josefa Tuamoto, SIVB Board chairman Wilson Ne’e, SIVB Board member Andrew Nihopara, representatives from Australian High Commissioner Office and a local media officer.
From Malaita the delegation will travel across to Tulagi, Central Province later this wek to see other potential tourism sites earmarked to be developed.
By William Ekotani