Welkam from the Solomon Islands! Solomon Islands Hotels is managed by us, Kerrie and Danny Kennedy, of Dive Gizo. We are your local connection in the Solomon Islands. Open since 1985, Dive Gizo is the oldest owner operated tourism facility in the Solomon Islands. While we operate diving, snorkelling, bush walking, birding, village visits and WWII tours it is of primary importance to us that we serve social, cultural and environmental goals.
Kerrie and I have always been community and civic-minded people, putting the needs and priorities of communities before our own personal interests.
As active members of Civil Society we encourage youth development and participation in environmental projects and cultural activities. Such education projects encourage locals to keep their cultural connections and at the same time protect the environment that will provide them with a sustainable livelihood for future generations. I (Danny) am so passionate about life here in the Solomon Islands that I became a naturalised Solomon Islands citizen in 2002 and was even elected to Western Provincial Government in 2005, whilst holding the position of Member for Ward # 11 Gizo Island.
Working with WHL
The Solomon Islands has a history of turbulence, tension and negative press from neighbouring countries. This has inhibited many businesses growth and development plus limited prospects for local employment.
It has troubled us that through the years many businesses have had to close their doors. We are proud that we have been able to survive through these times and continued to support our local staff, which started as three and has grown to twenty-five.
Being altruistic and armed with our collective experience in tourism and development (Kerrie as a nurse and dive master and Danny as a dive instructor with the claim to fame whilst working at Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center theme parks of certifying two Mickey Mouses and a Donald Duck!) we eventually decided to take the natural step towards sustainable tourism.
Before we became the local operator for WHL, we had already developed relationships and worked closely with the World Wide Fund for Nature and The Nature Conservancy .
For three consecutive years, we have won the PADI and Project Aware 'Go ECO Environment Achievement Award' for environmental advocacy. We achieved this accolade by implementing a number of projects including a reef mooring project. Mooring is an environmental friendly alternative to dropping anchor at diving and snorkelling sites, which damages and destroys coral and reefs. We also monitor reefs through Reef Check, and take part in Crown of Thorn cleanups, post tsunami reef assessments and reef re-growth promotion projects.
We have also worked with the:
- National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration,
- National Underwater Marine Agency,
- SCRIPPS Oceanographic Institute, and
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the home of Dr Robert Ballard exploration projects.
As a part of the WHL network we are excited to continue our environmental and historical protection work in conjunction with communities. For a myriad of reasons – inability to compete in a international competitive market, inability to keep up with technological advancements as they change the face of the tourism industry and lack of funds, misunderstanding of international traveler needs, to name a few – many Solomon Island communities have difficulty reaching you. Solomon Islands Hotelswill be a bridge between you and our local partners.
We are thrilled to be able to share with you the Solomon Islands warmth. The Solomons is a warm place to be – the warm and welcoming people and the warm, tropical weather. This warmth creates a rich marine and terrestrial world; we can access a diving / snorkelling site with the second highest fish count in the world (279 species per a single, one tank dive). We also have specialised knowledge on local WWII history, such as the John F. Kennedy and the PT109 and other intact WWII aircraft dive sites.
We hope working with WHL will be a big step for tourism in the Solomon Islands. We believe it has the potential to create new jobs and education opportunities for Solomon Islanders as well as promote tolerance amongst travellers.
Our local network of guesthouses and hotels and tour activities will provide you with practical information for your holiday to the Solomon Islands.