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Major hotels to share millions in government assistance

WHILE Solomon Islands athletes would have to wait until 2023 to share in the booty of the Pacific Games medal tally, major hotels in Honiara have reportedly landed a pot of gold.

The Government is giving away tens of millions of dollars to help the hotels upgrade their facilities and services as part of the preparations for the 2023 Pacific Games, which Solomon Islands is hosting.

Details of the assistance package are sketchy.

However, Island Sun has been informed that major hotels expect to receive up to $10million each under the scheme.

The funding is intended to help major hotels upgrade their facilities to cater for international guests such as Pacific Games’ officials as well as important visitors during the Games.

Sources said the arrangement is also designed to promote tourism.

One rationale for the funding assistance is that the current economic climate has made it almost impossible to expect hotels to do the necessary upgrade on their own in time for the Games.

As such, the government has taken the approach of killing two birds with one stone, using the 2023 Games.

“The Government will start disbursing the funds by the end of the year to enable hotels start work on upgrading their facilities immediately. Only major hotels would qualify for assistance under the scheme,” sources said.

It is not clear whether there are guidelines for accessing the funds, nor the source or sources of funding.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare once said that the Government would put aside a certain amount of money from the national budget each year to help with the cost of hosting the 2023 Games.