BY ALEX DADAMU
LOCATED in Rennell and Bellona province in the southernmost region of the Solomon Islands and around 130 miles (209 km) south of Guadalcanal Island constitute Rennell Gateway Accommodation, a simple, yet exquisite accommodation establishment, which was set up a few years ago by a retired public servant, Sanders Tenoaeha.
Like most Tourism operators in the country, Rennell Gateway Accommodation has suffered severe economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the business to cease operations in early 2020.
However, with the reopening of the international borders come July 1, the country’s tourism sector has welcomed the announcement and is now gearing up preparations to welcome back overseas guests and visitors to the Solomon Islands.
The spokesperson for the Tourism Service provider, Smith Paikea confirmed that they have set in place a few safety measures which guests and visitors must comply with when staying at the accommodation.
“Yes, with regards to the preparation taken towards the reopening of the borders, we did set in place the following plans;
“1. Strengthen COVID-19 protocols like the wearing of face masks, hand gloves, use of sanitizers, and other Health safety requirements.
“2. We have set apart a space for isolations or quarantine in which people can be accommodated if needed.
“3. We must let all people wanting to do their bookings with us aware of what is expected in terms of health protocols needed to be complied with.
Paikea said the Management and staff of Renbell Gateway Accommodation were also part of a series of Minimum Standards Tourism Extra Care Programs and Training conducted for tourism operators and workers in Renbel Province.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Tourism Division, the Extra Care Programs and Training is a part of a collective effort of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and Tourism Solomons to prepare the tourism industry players towards the reopening of the Solomon Islands borders on July 1, 2022.
Meanwhile, Paikea confirmed that they really benefitted from the Extra Care Training and are now looking towards the reopening of the Solomon Islands borders on July 1 and onwards – to welcome back overseas guests and visitors into the country.