BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
TOURISM Solomons in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture & Tourism is working on a five point plan in order to cope with the current – and post – COVID-19 environment.
According to the Ministry, their existing development plan (Solomon Islands National Tourism Development Strategy 2015 – 2019) had expired last year – thus, the five point plan has come about to keep the industry grooving amidst the COVID-19.
The five point plan is derived from what has been achieved in Ministry’s development strategic plan in the last five years (2015 – 2019).
Speaking to Tourism Media Solomons, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara said the ministry had reviewed its development strategic plan on the last five years and there are key areas in the strategic plan that they planned to maintain based on the achievements that were made over the last five years.
He said the COVID-19 has given a whole new perspective resulting on his ministry to come up with the five point plans, and they are Restoration, Extra Care, Future, Reset, and Marketing.
“While we will maintain certain components of our strategic plan for the next five years, the five point plan will address the immediate issues that we are currently facing through this Covid-19.
“Like in the Reset model we need to relook at our investment, how to maintain our current investors while at the same time attracting new investors as well as maintaining our infrastructures to support the tourism growth,” PS Nihopara said.
Tourism Solomon’s Chief Executive Officer Josefa Tuamoto also reiterated that the five-point plan is to focus on the tourism industry’s resilience.
“The foundation of the five-point plan is designed to focus on the tourism industry’s resilience
“Our tourism industry has survived numerous crises over the years, but we have always emerged, and will always emerge, in better shape,” Tuamoto said.
During the recent launch of the Iumi Tugeda Campaign, the Minister for Culture & Tourism Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo whilst addressing his audience said his ministry had started taking the necessary steps to deal with the impact of the COVID-19, and the sector had begun settling into the ‘new normal’ that is shaping the way the Solomon Islands does business.
These, he said, included the development of extra care measures and standards for the destination’s hotel and resort accommodation and tour and transport operators in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.