BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
DESPITE the COVID-19 impediments, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture says it will work within its means to implement its work plan and programs for this year.
Director of Culture Division, Dennis Marita confirmed their work plan for this year are already set so each division would try carry them out.
“We are hoping that the situation will get better this year to enable the ministry’s divisions to carry out their annual programs,’’ he told Tourism Media Solomon Islands.
Marita said at the moment, most Government funds are directed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are facing financial constraints due to the pandemic just like last year due to budget cuts.
“It is quite uncertain and unclear how things will go in light of the situation.
“It’s likely some of our programs will have to be deferred.
“Right now, we are basically focusing on office administrative operations and functions.”
Marita told Tourism Media Solomon Islands that one of the ministry’s annual activities is to provide support towards culture and arts in communities, for associations and schools in and around Honiara.
“This involves raising awareness in schools and with associations and communities about how significant culture and arts are related and contribute to tourism in Solomon Islands and to support their programmes.
“That is one of our community engagement or programme,” he said.
He further explained that the ministry will conduct these programmes within Honiara as a start due to the underlying financial constraints and pressure of the COVID-19 on government finances.
According to the director, they are receiving calls from the provinces to continue with their programmes, especially supporting local festivals.