BY ALEX DADAMU
THE implementation of the ‘Iumi Tugeda Support Domestic Tourism Travel Bubble Policy’ Initiative or ‘the DTB Initiative’ for short, has already commenced in December last year.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT), Andrew Nihopara revealed this to Tourism Media SI recently.
According to Nihopara, following the Policy initiative’s completion and subsequent approval by the Cabinet through a Joint Cabinet Paper in November last year, implementation of the policy commenced in early December in terms of making the approved amendments to the General Orders by the Ministry of Public Service.
“A Core team consisting of MCT, Tourism Solomons, Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA), Ministry of Public Service (MPS) and Solomon Airlines is responsible for the implementation of the Policy and the roll-out once all the necessary ground works are completed,” Nihopara explained.
“So far, the core team met twice to determine the levels of public service leave passage entitlements so that Public Servants Leave Packages are formulated within the various levels of leave passage entitlements,” Nihopara told Tourism Media SI.
He said the necessary information required by Solomon Airlines are now being made available and both MCT and Tourism Solomons are securing commitments by tourism facilities around the country to submit their special rates for the packages for the DTB Initiative.
“Once sample packages are formulated and finalized, the Core team hopes to market test the packages starting February and refine the packages and arrangements as will be required from the review.
“We are anticipating that by March 2021, the DTB Initiative will be rolled out through all the ministries within the public service.”
Meanwhile, Nihopara also revealed that once the DTB packages are finalized, the process of application and approval for the annual leave that falls under the DTB Initiative will rolled out through a training for all the Human Resource Managers in all the SIG Ministries.
“This training is necessary as the new application and approval process will be incorporated into the current system of public servant’s annual leave application and approval.”
Tourism Media SI understands that with the roll out of the ‘Domestic Tourism Travel Bubble Policy’ Initiative, senior public servants and constitutional post holders will be encouraged to visit other holiday destinations aside from their designated homes.
Tourism Media SI also understands that the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) has announced that it will focus mainly on the domestic tourism market during the pandemic.