Wednesday 28 September, Honiara – The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) acknowledges the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) and Tourism Solomons for their ongoing efforts in developing the sector despite the massive challenges faced over the pasts years due to COVID-19.

SICCI also acknowledges Tourism Solomons’ ‘Rethinking Strategy’ at a Business After 5 (BA5) networking event on Friday 23rd September hosted for members of the business community.

At the BA5, Permanent Secretary of MCT, Mr Barney Sivoro presented on an overview of the challenges faced during the three years of lockdown and the Ministry’s 5 Point recovery plan to help the country navigate the industry during the lock down period, the Domestic Tourism.

The Permanent Secretary also highlighted Tourism COVID-19 Extra Care Training which is now incorporated into the industry minimum standard and approved by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). Travelers will be more health conscious, so the objective is to train operators on the new health and safety protocols to give confidence to the visitors as our border re-opens.

He also highlighted potential tourism investment sites, and update on aviation infrastructure in the country, plans for the 2023 Pacific Games and a tourism loan facility with the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).

“The Tourism Sector was the first and hardest hit sector by the COVID-19 outbreak. But it is a resilient industry and can quickly bounce back. While the COVID-19 threat is still here, we just Need to manage it well.

“With COVID-19 Extra Care training, our operators are prepared and ready to welcome back visitors and to handle cases of COVID-19.

“MCT will continue to work with industry to map out a strategy for re-starting and growing the sector post Covid,” he said.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Solomons, Mr Dagnal Dereveke presented on the impact of COVID-19 on visitors’ arrivals in the past three years, Tourism Solomons ‘Rethinking Focus’, opportunities and their brand.

SICCI, as the peak body representing private sector in the country, believes that it is imperative that the Solomon Islands Government together with all tourism institutions and stakeholders take collaborative approaches in addressing the impediments that hinder the development of the tourism industry in the country.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms. Natalina Hong, on behalf of the SICCI membership and its members in the tourism sector, welcome opportunities to discuss with industry stakeholders on ways to address key development challenges facing the industry.

“Solomon Islands is considered to have world-class tourism potential and as a Chamber, we are committed to working in partnership with relevant stakeholders to realize this potential and to ensure the industry recovers with much support as needed to provide a more sustainable source of growth that has direct impact on our peoples lives,” she said.

SICCI through its Advocacy Department has in its advocacy agenda the development of new sectors, particularly the tourism sector as an important pathway for economic growth.

“This is part of SICCI’s efforts to help address the key impediments to economic growth.

“In order for our economy to grow, it is important that there is an enabling business environment that encourages business growth and the creation of jobs for Solomon Islanders,” the SICCI CEO said.

Meanwhile, SICCI on behalf of its members congratulates all the industry stakeholders, institutes, and operators as they celebrate World Tourism Day this week with the theme ‘Rethinking Tourism ‘.

-SICCI Media

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