The new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was sworn-in today (June 29) by the Acting Governor General, Patterson Oti formalizing his appointment by the Public Service Commission with concurrence by the Prime Minister.
Bunyan Sivoro is now the new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He took up the position following his swearing in at the Government House this morning. Mr Sivoro is not new to the Ministry, having served there for the last 21 years, 8 of which as Deputy Director of Tourism and 13 as Director for Tourism.
Hailed from Vella La Vella in the Western Province, Mr Sivoro said he is very honored and humbled by the appointment and vowed to continue to serve the government and people of this country in his new role as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
“It has always been my dream and desire to see tourism become a major contributor to the country’s economy and social wellbeing of the people. As a cross sectoral industry, tourism can trigger and drive growth in many other sectors through its forward and backward linkages. Over the years, the Ministry has developed many well intended policies and plans that only needs the right support and resources to implement and I’m excited to take up this challenge,” Sivoro said.
Mr Sivoro said, tourism is already vital to the local economy. It contributes an annual estimate of $530 million in terms of foreign exchange into the domestic economy and accounts for about 3.1% direct jobs. Prior to the outbreak of covid 19 the annual growth rate averages at 7% year on year. Further growth prospect focused was severely interrupted by the onslaught of covid 19 global pandemic.
“As the country looks to fully re-open its international borders in a couple of days’ time, Mr Sivoro is optimistic that international travel will resume to kick start and restore the local tourism economy. I would like to thank the government for its decision to open the border as any further and prolonged closer means complete shutdown of the industry,” Sivoro said.
The announcement by the Prime Minister to open the border without any quarantine restrictions and requirement is welcomed by the tourism sector. It is a show of confidence by the government that our health environment has improved and allow travel and tourism to safely resume to support the overall economic recovery.
MCT already have an interim tourism sector recovery plan known as the 5-point plan that set the road map of the industry during and post covid 19. As we look to the restoration phase, we hope to restore the visitor numbers and economic contribution of the sector to pre-covid 19 status in the short term and look forward to reset the industry with new strategic direction in line with how the global market will change and shifts in demand for travel due to the covid 19 pandemic which has completely changed the travel and tourism landscape.
Apart from tourism, Sivoro’s other priority will be to focus on the development of our Cultural, Heritage and Art sector.
“We have key institutions such as the National Museum, Art Gallery and National Archives. They play a significant role in our country particularly in terms of preserving, protecting and promoting our culture and heritage. These institutions and sectors complement the tourism sector. Our country’s Unique Selling Point of our DNA is our Culture and Traditions. These are the core or the Soul of who we are as a Destination. Our Brand epitomizes our Culture and traditions and we live it. We are a living Culture,” Sivoro said.
MCT has also established strong network and partnership with industry players, government ministries, resource owners and of course our donor partners so I look forward to continue to enhance our collaboration.
Mr Sivoro has a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in tourism management from James Cook University in Australia and a Master degree in Business and Management from the University of Waikato, NZ and well over 20 years of public service and industry experience.