Agriculture, Cuisine and Tourism: A winning combination in Solomon Islands

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the tourism sector in the Solomon Islands are interested in linking agriculture and tourism through cuisine.

In a workshop recently, MAL and development partners highlighted the role of chefs in combining agriculture and tourism, adding that this should be included in the agritourism policy.

Chef Colin Chung, renowned across the Pacific for his skills and advocacy for local sourcing, explained the opportunities for food tourism in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Chung said there has been successful stories about the significance of chefs’ role across the Pacific, especially Fiji, towards agriculture and tourism.

“In addition to supports the diversification of the tourism offering of the country, culinary tourism can also stimulate demand for local foods and products from farmers.

“One big challenge that the Solomon Islands will have to address is the capacity gap in the food service industry, as the country currently has just a few professional Chefs.”

Staff from Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Mrs Freda Unisi said, “Tourists want a taste of our local organic foods in their short visits, but with our lack of professional chefs, there’s no local set menu’s to be marketed to our visitors.”

She hoped the Agritourism Policy would take this into account.

CTA, SPTO and PIPSO are supporting capacity development of chefs across the region and promoting the exchange of experiences and best practices through their Chefs for Development platform.

CTA Manager and Coordinator Isolina Boto said, “We believe that professional chefs can be great promoters of local food and cuisine, and also work with farmers to improve the quality of food needed by hotels and restaurants.”

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.