Solomon Island Visitors Bureau (SIVB) CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has applauded the establishment of a new School of Tourism & Hospitality in Honiara calling it “a catalyst for the destination’s economic future.”
Mr Tuamoto praised the national government for the role it has played in enabling the new educational facility to become a reality.
“The Solomon Islands government has long recognised the critical role tourism plays as a key driver of foreign exchange and the need to create the strategies intended to push tourism into place as the prime source of our foreign exchange earnings within the next 10 years,” he said.“
“Just as importantly, the government realises that to achieve this, we need to field a fully trained and highly qualified workforce if we are to build our tourism product base, deliver the right product and compete on the global tourism stage.
“”The establishment of this new facility will play a crucial role and act as a catalyst in enabling the Solomon Islands and its tourism industry to achieve that goal.”
The SID12 million facility forms part of the Solomon Islands National University campus and houses conference rooms, a lecture theatre and several tutorial rooms.
At a ceremony to mark the handing over of the new building’s keys to the university, Minister for Culture and Tourism, Samuel Manetoali underlined the potential the tourism sector represents for all Solomon Islanders and the need to develop local human resources to manage and build on that potential into the future.
“We need to wake up to the fact that our tourism work force is one of the main factors of competitiveness in the global tourism market,” the minister said.
“But the development of the tourism sector is not possible without the sufficient pull of appropriately skilled labour.
“Travel and tourism requires a broad range of skills ranging from business management to hotel specific hospitality management and operations.
“This is where we expect to see the new Tourism & Hospitality School play a major part in building on, developing and implementing our people with the required skill sets.”