Solomon Islands hotels to achieve Minimum Standards Accreditation
The Solomon Island Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) has announced the first Solomon Islands accommodation providers to achieve ‘Minimum Standards Accreditation’.
The accommodation providers, including SINPF Hibiscus Apartments, the Heritage Park Hotel, the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, the Coral Sea Resort & Casino in Honiara and the Papatura Island Retreat in Santa Isabel were awarded ‘Minimum Standards Accreditation’ in a formal ceremony at the Heritage Park Hotel.
Minimum Standards is a system used worldwide by governments and tourism industry organisations to ensure that the tourism sector maintains internationally-recognised standards of quality. The program has been specially developed by the Ministry via considerable research and stakeholder workshops throughout the country.
Each of the establishments visited were assessed by a specialist team from MCT’s Tourism Division which to date has already assessed 98 of 280 properties across the Solomon Islands.
The Minimum Standards team also spends considerable time consulting with people who wish to operate accommodation advising them on how the Minimum Standards can be used as a guideline when building and promoting their businesses.
MCT Permanent Secretary, Andrew Nihopara said he was proud of his team which has visited providers and supported them with knowledge of how to improve services and facilities to better meet guest expectations.
“Accommodation providers are vital to helping the Solomon Islands attract tourists, create jobs and generate income. This is important now, more than ever with tourism and ecotourism stepping up to fill the gap left by the declining logging industry,” he said.
As part of the Minimum Standards procedure, MCT staff assess establishments based on the type of accommodation the establishment wants to provide. Establishments can choose to be assessed as a Hotel, Resort, Motel, Budget Accommodation, Tourist Bungalow, Ecolodge, Serviced Apartment or Homestay.
For all accommodation providers, the standards cover important areas such as: Guest Rooms and Bathrooms; Emergency, Safety and Security; Legal requirements; Business Operations; Front Office and Lobby; Kitchen, Restaurant and Bar; Guest Services; Building, Grounds and Maintenance; and Environmental Management.
The Minimum Standards Program is one of several key programs currently being carried out by MCT, supported by Australian Government-initiative ‘Strongim Bisnis’, Enhanced Integrated Framework Program (EIF) and the Australian Volunteers International program.
The Standards help promote and encourage tourism in the Solomon Islands by formalising accommodation categories and ensuring that accommodation providers fit those categories properly.
By formalising categories and aligning them with internationally-recognised standards, the Solomon Islands can better market and sell its accommodation to the overseas market and increase trust with tourists and travel agents before they make bookings.
Attached image shows (from left to right) management of SINPF Hibiscus Apartments, the Heritage Park Hotel, Papatura Island Retreat, Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel and the Coral Sea Resort & Casino.