Honiara : 9 January 2016
Letter to the Editor, Solomon Star and Island Sun Newspapers.
My own website, aided initially by the SIVB, continues to promote the potential of the Solomon Islands as a great tourist destination set amongst azure seas, tropical islands, and lush palm fringed beaches and within easy, economical, reach of most regional capitals.
I wish I knew more, however, as to how tourism facilities are being upgraded and to what extent hospitality training is being given at the national and provincial levels.
In 2014 the Guadalcanal Provincial Tourism Office held a three day tourism training session in Marau with the aim of equipping all the province’s tourism operators with ideas on how best to provide a conducive hospitality environment.
I believe a similar exercise has been done in the Western Province but, by and large, information, as I see it, is lacking on the wider picture.
A recent media article I read cited cruise ship passengers were spending less time ashore for a variety of reasons but importantly citing a lack of toilet facilities, grubby looking shop fronts in Honiara and the oppressive heat.
Last week a tourism operator in the Western Province wrote to a local newspaper complaining, in particular, about what he saw as a ‘skills gap’ in training needs including customer service, people management, management and leadership, organisation planning and coordination, computing, budgeting, accounting and product development.
If what has been voiced in the press then perhaps someone might respond to say what is the general situation to improve hospitality training for local tourism operators, provide skills for employment opportunities in the catering and hospitality trades, provide clean and well maintained toilet facilities and cleaning and greening of Honiara and other main tourists centres where cruise ships are most often calling.