Think differently – change the mind set – educate the children – leave a legacy for our children we can be proud of – just do it.
These are just a few of the key messages emanating from the 2014 Our Telekom national tourism forum staged at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara last week.
The biggest tourism conference held in the Solomon Islands within the last three years the event was officially opened by the Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Samuel Manetoali.
More than 200 delegates representing the length and breadth of the Solomon Islands tourism industry joined with government representatives and the private sector to thrash out the challenges the Solomon Islands tourism industry faces as it moves to face the future.
Structured around a series of presentations, a candid Q&A session and intensive workshops, the general consensus from those attending was that the day proved a success although several contentious issues impacting on the industry today are still to be resolved.
These include accommodation supply, development of international cruise market potential international and regional air access and the building and development of both current source markets and those international source markets seen as providing strong potential for the Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, JosefaTuamoto said the subject matter discussed and the ability of those attending to have their say on the future of the industry was a compelling factor in the overall success of the day.
“This event will play a key role as we move together as a united industry to implement the blueprint that needs to be finely shaped if we are to meet government objectives and see the tourism sector become the prime source of our country’s foreign exchange earnings within the next 10 years,” he said.
“This means taking a more aggressive approach if we want to see tourism do well and taking this step change is the appropriate and critical way forward for us as a destination.
“What we have achieved today is a very positive first step but we are all very aware that the road ahead is a long one and many many more steps will be needed if we are all to achieve what we know it is we have to achieve.
The SIVB CEO announced plans are already underway for a similar forum in 2015.