TOURISM will be a major player in the economic sector in the near future.
Indications of this are the influx of tourists to the September 16-18 Goroka Cultural Show, the success of the Pasin Tumbuna Day at Nature Park in Port Moresby last weekend, and today’s Hiri Moale Festival in Port Moresby.
Other tourist drawers are the upcoming Morobe Show in Lae and the Middle Sepik Festival in Chambri Lakes.
The Government’s tourism interest has led to the granting of visa-on-arrival for Australian tourists and slashing of tourist visa fees in order to increase visitor flow as well as VOA to APEC nationals.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill echoed PNG’s renewed interest in the tourist dollar yesterday when he opened a K4.5 million new wing of the Madang Resort, but called for a greater public-private partnership.
“We must build our tourism infrastructure today so that we can establish the tourism boom of tomorrow,” Mr O’Neill said at the opening the Madang Resort Wenong AB Wing.
“Oil and gas revenue will not last forever so we have to keep diversifying our economy for the decades to come.
“The Government cannot do this alone, we must work in partnership with the private sector.” Resort owner Sir Peter Barter said there was tremendous tourist potential in every part of the country but the creation of tourist hubs in only certain provinces and the concentration by the Government in terms of major events and infrastructure in Port Moresby alone was not in the overall interest of tourism development.
Sir Peter is the chairman of Melanesian Tourist Services Ltd which is a well-known tour operator.
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