New efforts to make PNG a vibrant tourist destination | Pacific Beat

New efforts to make PNG a vibrant tourist destination

New efforts to make PNG a vibrant tourist destination

Updated 26 November 2012, 18:27 AEDT

Papua New Guinea's Tourism Promotion Authority or TPA PNG says all members of the tourism and hospitality industry should co-operate to promote the country as a major tourist destination.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Vincent says PNG is often known as an expensive place for tourism when it has a million different things to offer tourists.

Firmin Nanol reports:

Presenter: Firmin Nanol

Speaker: Chief Executive Officer Peter Vincent, Executive Officer of the Tour Operators Association Dominic Tulo, Marketing Officer for PNG in Japan, Yakashi Yamada. and PNG's Tourism Promotion Authority officer in Australia, Stuart Thompson

NANOL: Mr Vincent was speaking during a regional and international Tourism marketing officer's conference in Port Moresby last week.

He says Papua New Guinea wants to bring in tourists who will stay for longer and spend their tourism dollar on adventure activities.

Peter Vincent says the PNG's Tourism Promotion Authority has over the last couple of years seen a steady increase in tourist arrivals.

VINCENT: Our numbers are still looking good. We clearly indicated in our tourism master plan that every five years, we're going to increase the numbers by 50 per cent and we've achieved that. The market we're looking for is different from what the other destinations in the Pacific are looking for. They're looking for mass tourism numbers, they're looking for numbers who are coming in to spend a few days. We're interested in a market that would come in and spend in Papua New Guinea more than 15 to 21 days and that's what we're seeing.

NANOL: The government of PNG under its 2013 national budget strategy plans to merge the Tourism Promotion Authority with the Office of Tourism into a single department of Tourism.

Chief Executive Officer of TPA, Peter Vincent says the authority is yet to see the full details of the plan.

VINCENT: That's a decision by the government, but we don't know really the impact of the decision that the government has made. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but we're very thankful the government over the last ten years has consistently provided us sufficient resources to allow us to be able to go and market Papua New Guinea in those overseas markets. The role we play is not only promoting tourism. The role we play is promoting Papua New Guinea also and right now, Papua New Guinea is known for its high cost of getting here. We need to continue to create awareness and tell people that you still can get here and enjoy yourself.

NANOL: Last week, PNG's Tourism Promotion Authority Marketing officers for the UK, Russia, North America, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and tour operators met in a three day conference and discussed plans for 2013.

The Tour Operators Association of PNG or TOA PNG says many tour operators have gone out of business because they didn't quite meet tourist's needs and or requirements.

Executive Officer Dominic Tulo says many of the operators have not paid their Association membership fees so it's been struggling to help tour operators.

However, he says the Association is looking at ways to improve their business.

TULO: We have some operators who've started for the purpose of making money. They don't have the passion for tourism, so they start up with the wrong intention and then when they find it is hard to get a tourist, they just pull off, and that is a bad thing for the tourism industry. But one of our plans for 2013, is to standardise and get some quality operators and I will make sure that it happens.

NANOL: The marketing Officer for PNG in Japan, Yakashi Yamada says many Japanese tourists have being visiting the country and want to visit to enjoy adventure diving and to run the Kokoda Track Challenge.

YAMADA: We are very much interest in diving, surfing, culture. This kind of a niche market is quite outstanding there, very popular in Japan at the moment. So the demand is really getting high year by year. We at TPA Japan would like to capture more Japanese people coming down. Actually the result is getting very well. For 2013, we're looking for better results. We'd like to expand our activities in Kokoda, in trekking as well, that's why Kokoda for us, definitely more for competitive racing, rather than doing some trekking.

NANOL: PNG's Tourism Promotion Authority has also announced the appointment of their officer in Australia, Stuart Thompson.

He says many Australians know PNG for the Kokoda Track, which is historically significant to Australians, for fending off invading Imperial Japanese forces in the Second World War.

He says they would like to promote other things the country has to offer them.

THOMPSON: The real Papua New Guinea's out in the villages and the culture and I think once you come here, it's got the Wow factor and we just really want to change the perception and get people to come and experience the culture and the place that Australia has such a close relationship with in the history that we've shared.

NANOL; The Chief Executive Officer of PNG's Tourism Promotion Authority or TPA PNG, Peter Vincent, says the number of tourists travelling to the country has been steadily increasing and he wants it to continue to improve.

Firmin Nanol-Port Moresby.

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