In a proactive move to elevate tourism standards and prioritise sustainability, the Tourism Authority of Kiribati (TAK) recently conducted the Mauri Mark Standard Assessment of South Tarawa Accommodations from January 9th – 10th, 2024. The assessment encompasses two accommodation categories: Category 1, which comprises Hotel, Resort, Motel, Guesthouse, and Self Contained Apartment, and Category 2, which includes Island Bungalow, Homestay and Airbnb. The Mauri Mark standards, a key component of the National Tourism Standards Programme in Kiribati, encompass various sustainability criteria.
This annual initiative, part of the Sustainability Tourism Policy Goals and Policy Responses (Goal 4), aims to position Kiribati at the forefront of global tourism standards, emphasizing product quality, safety, accessibility, and sustainability. The Mauri Mark acts as a rating system for tourism businesses, including accommodations, restaurants, bars, small leisure crafts, and water activity tour operators.
The survey involved the assessment of seven tourism business operators, focusing on six key criteria outlined in the Mauri Mark standards: Business Operations, Room Facilities, Fire Safety, Health and Hygiene, Support Services, and Sustainability.
Among the sustainability practices evaluated were measures to ensure the marine ecosystem remains undisturbed during construction and operation, proper waste segregation, and adherence to regulations governing sand and gravel mining, such as obtaining a valid Environment License from the Ministry of Environment. or purchasing from Te Atinimarawa company Ltd that produces sand and gravel locally for sale.
“The Mauri Mark Standard is not only an indicator of the quality of services provided to consumers and visitors but also serves as a guide for improving tourism business services and a valuable marketing tool for operators,” said Iataake King, Manager – Standards and Licensing Unit of the TAK.
The assessment, conducted annually by tourism inspectors, ensures ongoing compliance with standards and continuous improvement within the industry. This year’s Assessment in South Tarawa is just the beginning, with the Mauri Mark Standard Assessment for North Tarawa scheduled to take place in February.
By incorporating sustainability criteria into tourism standards, Kiribati is paving the way for a resilient and responsible tourism industry that not only meets international benchmarks but also showcases the nation’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
The successful implementation of the Mauri Mark Standard Assessment in South Tarawa sets a promising precedent for the entire tourism sector in Kiribati, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and quality in attracting visitors and ensuring a positive experience for all.
Photo Credit: Tourism Authority of Kiribati
Source: Tourism Authority of Kiribati