The entire country can be rest assured the future of the Solomon Islands tourism future is in very safe hands.
That is the key message emanating from Wednesday night’s ‘Inter Secondary Schools Oratory Contest’ taking place at the National Museum when six local students went head to head delivering their thoughts on the main theme for this year’s Our Telekom National Tourism Forum – ‘Managing Change and Creating a Million Tourism Opportunities’.
Officially opening the event, Honourable Minister for Culture and Tourism, the Hon. Bodo Heinz Dettke said, the Ministry has long been advocating for greater awareness of the benefits the tourism industry can bring to the country.
And the oratory event, he said, and its involvement with younger Solomon Islanders provided a perfect platform.
“We want our students to get a better understanding and appreciation of the tourism industry and the potential it has to contribute meaningfully to the economy of the Solomon Islands, now and into the future,” the Minister said.
“Tourism is everyone’s business but to have our children involved this year with the National Tourism Forum is encouraging as it gives them a better understanding of what tourism is all about.
“Tourism starts with our children – our children are our assets.”
There can be no doubt the six students involved in the event – William Horoto from Tenaru Secondary School, Lynnissha Runa from Honiara High School, Claudina Ora from Bishop Epalle Secondary School, Gerald Sevudredre from Panatina Community High School, Stephanie Titili from St Nicholas Secondary School and Edward Junior from the White River Community High School – more than delivered.
But there could only be one winner and that was Stephanie Titili adjudged the best of the best for her oratory skills and both the content and delivery of her presentation.
Her prize a laptop computer, projector courtesy of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINTF) and a return domestic ticket flying Solomon Airlines.
Other prizes included a second laptop computer, a desktop computer, printers, calculators and dictionaries as well as cash prizes for the schools.
In addition each of the students presenting will be given the opportunity to experience a paid internship with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the SIVB.
Key sponsors for the evening included SINTF, Solomon Airlines, datec, SISHA, the King Solomon Hotel, Heritage Park Hotel and the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB).
Closing the evening SIVB Marketing Manager, Ms Freda Unusi thanked the government and the sponsors for their combined efforts in making the event an actuality.
“It is important to have our children and students involved in our National Tourism Forum, give them an opportunity to have a better understanding of what tourism is all about and the value it holds for all of us today and for our future generations,” Ms Unusi said.
The evening was a prelude to the ‘Managing Change and Creating a Million Tourism Opportunities’-themed Our Telekom National Tourism Forum which commences on Friday at the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel and which is expected to attract more than 200 industry delegates.
The event will as in 2014 once again feature an impressive line-up of keynote speakers representing the government, local and overseas tourism industry representatives and the corporate sector.