Tourism Solomons has welcomed the introduction of Minimum Standards and Classification for Tourism Accommodation program.
Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto, Tourism Solomons CEO, described the move, introduced by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture & Tourism, as “a major step in the right direction” for the destination’s tourism industry.
Tuamoto said the release of the program was timely in view of the efforts the Solomon Islands has gone to in recent times to increase its profile on the international tourism stage.
“This long-awaited but carefully laid out program will act as a catalyst for the local tourism accommodation sector to take a holistic approach to service excellence,” he said.
“It’s definitely a major step in the right direction for the destination’s tourism industry.”
Officially launched by the Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo at Honiara’s Heritage Park Hotel, the main thrust behind the program is to implement what is seen as an essential improvement of standards in the tourism accommodation sector.
The Minimum Standards are a set of measurable criteria that outline items and services that must be in place for a tourism accommodation to operate according to internationally recognised standards.
Accommodation providers will be classified into one of eight categories.
Currently, there are 160 accommodation providers operating in the Solomon Islands but only about 10 per cent of these can currently be sold by international wholesalers offering Solomon Islands travel packages.
MCT Director of Tourism, Bunyan Sivoro said while Increased tourism was in the national interest, the main benefactors would eventually be the tourism operators themselves.
“We in the tourism department look forward to this exciting new chapter in the development of our tourism sector,” he said.