By OLIGAO NINIU
TOURISM accommodation providers must follow the Minimum Standards requirements set by the Tourism Division within the Ministry of Culture & Tourism.
Speaking to journalists during the Economics of Tourism training for Solomon Islands journalists this week, Director of Tourism Barney Sivoro said the minimum standards is vital to the growth of the industry.
Sivoro said many accommodations need to upgrade so our tourism sector can meet the visitors’ demand for quality rooms.
Minimum Standards are a set of measurable criteria that outlines items and services that must be in place for a tourism accommodation to operate according to internationally recognized standards.
Sivoro said the country has 1000 available rooms, but many of them do not meet the Tourism Accommodation Minimum Standards.
This was also emphasized by Tourism Solomon CEO, Josefa Tuamoto who says,“we need 400 quality rooms to meet the demand of our international visitors”.
The mislabeling of the tourism accommodations is a big issue the sector faces.
As Sivoro highlighted some accommodation providers are labeling their businesses with, for example, resort- while their businesses are in the budget accommodation or motel category.
According to Tuamoto, correct labeling of our accommodations according to their categories is vital to meet our visitors’ expectation.
The ongoing awareness of the Tourism Accommodation Minimum Standards carried out by the Tourism Division to the private accommodation providers is a vital step forward in the tourism sector.
In the panel discussion of the Economics of tourism training for the Solomon Islands journalists, Mereoni Adimaisau, the General Manageress of the Tavanipupu Island Resort said having the Minimum Standard is a positive approach.
And it is something which needs to be filtered down to the accommodation providers.
The tourism providers need to see the Minimum Standards as a useful tool for the success of their businesses.
Sivoro concluded by saying that the time is now for all the tourism stakeholders to put on a collective effort to improve the quality of our rooms by using the Tourism Accommodation Minimum Standards as our bottom line to develop our tourism sector.
This article was produced from the “Economics of Tourism” training for journalists in Honiara funded by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) in partnership with Strongim Bisnis