MANY of our tourism accommodations are well below standards, according to the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) Andrew Nihopara.
Nihopara told journalists in a press conference during last Friday’s ‘Tourism in Focus’ event in Honiara.
Tourism in Focus event is to create the opportunity for the tourism institutions such as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Solomon Airlines and Tourism Solomon’s to discuss first-hand with tourism industry stakeholders on addressing key tourism development challenges.
Nihopara said that based on the 2025-2019 Tourism development strategy the Minimum Standard Roll Out is one of the key highlight the ministry is working on it to improve tourism accommodations.
According to their assessment Nihopara said that the mislabelling of resort when it’s not a resort are some of the examples of the country’s poor tourism standards.
“So we went back put the minimum standard in and started dialoguing with the tourism operators to make sure that we are not marketing the wrong products,” he added.
He further stressed that the standard of the rooms must meet the minimum requirement to the expectations of the travellers.
“This is ongoing process towards a certification so once a particular property meets the standards then they are qualified to get a certification or accreditation for that,” Nihopara said.
Minimum Standards is a system used worldwide by governments and tourism industry organisations to ensure that the tourism sector maintains internationally-recognised standards of quality.
He further stressed that the Standards help promote and encourage tourism in the Solomon Islands by formalising accommodation categories and ensuring that accommodation providers fit those categories properly.
Nihopara said that this is an ongoing process for the ministry.
By ANDREW FANASIA