Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has paid tribute to a team of Institute of Tourism & Hospitality lecturers and students in attendance at last week’s ‘Mi Save Solo’ tourism exchange, describing their efforts as delivering a true showcase for what the future holds in store for the Solomon Islands tourism industry.
Unbeknown to the large number of government and tourism officials, local and international delegates in attendance at the event, a team of 19 ITH students led by lecturers Annette Honimae, Mary Tavava and Patrick Manuoru were hard at work behind the scenes preparing, cooking and cooking the delicious food and beverages on offer and acting as ambassadors throughout the day at the Solomon Islands National University campus venue.
“The government has clearly stated it sees tourism becoming a major source of GDP within the next five-seven years,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“As our tourism industry continues to grow, it is vital that we continue to train our young Solomon Islanders to be ready with the right qualifications to take over the reins and manage what tomorrow is on target to become this country’s key economic pillar.
“Even more importantly, it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure we keep this amazing pool of talent within our islands and not lose them to our near neighbours who are already crying out for talented, highly educated youngsters to fill management roles as their tourism infrastructures continue to expand.
“And to do that, we have to offer them the exact same opportunity on home soil.
“That, currently, presents a challenge but with the speed of which our tourism prospects continue to grow, and with our government doing all it can to support and develop the sector, presenting those opportunities can become a reality.
“I have said it before, that the time for procrastination has passed and we need to act now if the Solomon Islands tourism sector is to achieve its goals – and as importantly, give these amazing youngsters the opportunities they so richly deserve.
Pictured, the ITH students with lecturers at ‘Mi Save Solo’ (from left) Annette Honimae, Mary Tavava and Patrick Manuoru.