BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SINU’S Institute of Tourism and Hospitality will offer a Bachelor programme of Tourism and Hospitality Management different from other regional universities.
The Director for Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Mr Charlie Panakera revealed Bachelor programme of Tourism and Hospitality Management will be offered at the Solomon Islands national university.
It is a three and half year programme; first two years will be theory and after that students will go on a six-month internship programme before coming back for their final year.
This was revealed during a session with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and stakeholders on June 13th at Kukum campus.
According to the popular Facebook Yumi Tok Tok forum, Panakera explained that such programme is designed to be different from the Bachelor of Tourism offered by other regional universities.
The programme is aimed to avoid competition in the job market with a design programme focussed on “job creation” in which graduates will have boosted confidence to be entrepreneurial and to move away from the paradigm of job seekers.
Panakera said, “Festivals, Conferencing and Events Management is the fastest growing market segment in the Solomon Islands and Pacific Islands nations, therefore, this programme will address the skills gaps in service industry.
“I want my students to be ready to get their hands dirty before they graduated and coming to work for you.”
He said companies that provide internship opportunities for his students will have a higher chance to hire the students once they graduate.
During the discussion, the stakeholders indicated the need for government to step in and help the institute secure internship opportunities from companies overseas.
At the session, tourism stakeholders discussed the need and interest for tourism industry to take over the income from the logging industry.
However, tourism industry needs to generate five times more income in order to equal what the country receives from logging.
With this, the stakeholders urged government, stakeholders and SINU to work extra hard side by side to reach such goal.
Yumi Tok Tok forum said Panakera concluded his presentation by calling on the stakeholders and the government to establish an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to guide the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.