By EDDIE OSIFELO
NEW and upcoming accommodation establishment DD Holiday Inn at Mbumburu, West Honiara, launched its website yesterday as part of its marketing drive to get itself out to a wider audience.
People can access the website on: www.ddholidayinn.sb
Owners of the Inn, John and Nester Deve, Strongim Bisnis Senior Advisor, James Mcgoon and journalists attending a one-week Economics of Tourism workshop witnessed the event.
The Economics of Tourism workshop, which was jointly funded by PACMAS and Strongem Bisnis, was conducted at DD Holiday Inn’s magnificent, opened-side thatched conference room.
A private Information Technology (IT) company, Arietech, designed the website.
Deve, a former Police officer, told the small gathering the website was the culmination of many years of struggle as a indigenous businessman.
He said it was a long journey in life, which he sees as blessing.
“I have been in few businesses, but when I came into the tourism industry, I think this is the best business to pursue for my children,” he said.
Deve said the website is important to market the products DD has to offer.
He said after the Inn was launched by Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Strongim Bisnis last year, business has been virtually slow.
Deve said only catering and workshops are demanding in the accommodation.
Arietech’s Eric Aarifanata Junior said the importance of the website is to promote the Inn as a genuine accommodation so that people from outside can see it.
He said it is a soft launch because other features like online booking will be installed later after consultation with commercial banks.
He believes with the new website, it will help with books at DD.
Deve first started a petrol business at his village in Marau, East Guadalcanal after leaving high school in 1990.
He started his business with $100 because a 44-gallon petrol drum costs $97.
Deve said his petrol businesses ended during the tension years after militants destroyed his depot
As such, he turned to taxi, selling fish, running a trade shop at Kukum highway and second hand clothing but things did not work out for him.
Deve turned to accommodation in 2010 and decided to venture into tourism with advice from Francis Deve
He said the Ministry of Culture and Tourism had also assisted with funding to purchase solar and tanks, while Strongim Bisnis offered advice and promotion.
This article was produced from the “Economics of Tourism” training for journalists in Honiara funded by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) in partnership with Strongim Bisnis.