The Solomon Islands has taken a major step towards ensuring the future success of its tourism industry, by opening a new tourism school in the capital, Honiara.
The new School of Tourism & Hospitality, which cost SBD12 million (US$1.6m) to develop, forms part of the Solomon Islands National University campus and houses conference rooms, a lecture theatre and several tutorial rooms.
And the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau’s CEO, Josefa Tuamoto, said the facility would be “a catalyst for the destination’s economic future”.
“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,” said Tuamoto.
“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,” he added.
Officially opening the new tourism school, the Solomon Islands’ minister for culture & tourism, Samuel Manetoali, said it would offer a “broad range of skills ranging from business management to hotel specific hospitality management and operations”.