Tourism standard set to be improved with MCT initiative

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BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE

THE standard of quality room service in the country’s tourism outlets is set to be improved with an initiative by the ministry of culture and tourism (MCT).

Solomon Islands’ newly approved and introduced Tourism Accommodation Minimum Standards and Classification system is the first of its kind in the country.

MCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Andrew Nihopara said this at the ministry’s Minimum Standards and Classification Training programme at Heritage Park Hotel on Tuesday.

He stressed the need for the system and how it will contribute to tourism growth in the country.

Nihopara said Solomon Islands tourism industry currently holds a record of about 188 accommodation facilities in total that are registered with the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.

He added that this figures as a total of 1854 rooms with a further 3,685 beds inventory nationwide.

However, the Permanent Secretary said that when it comes to room quality, only 17 percent of room inventory is determined as “market ready” while the remaining 83 percent are rated below the required standard of quality.

In relation, he said that this situation sought the ministry’s attention to address the quality aspect of their room inventory through a classification system, hence they see it as a platform that will enable them to not only classify the various accommodations throughout the country into specific relevant categories but also to develop a set of minimum standards for each.

Nihopara further spoke of the latter and emphasised how the tourism accommodation minimum standards and classification system will bring in a huge impact to the country’s tourism industry.

“Having this classification system with relevant minimum standards will provide the guideline for upgrading of the existing accommodations in order to meet visitor expectations, enhance our competiveness and also secure confidence by tourism wholesalers to include more rooms in holiday packages.

“Once implemented, the impact will include increased number of high quality rooms, enhancing the competitiveness of our destination, increasing confidence to sell the Solomon Islands in the markets and will hugely enhance our ability to meet visitor expectations and guarantee satisfaction,” he said.

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