‘Take ownership of tourism industry’


TOURISM Promotion Authority chief executive officer Jerry Agus has called on all citizens to take ownership of tourism if the industry is to develop and prosper.
The authority is staging Tourism Week PNG from September 21 to 27. It includes the national tourism conference on September 23 and the Lukim Nau Tourism Expo from September 25 to 27.
“Tourism is gaining a lot of momentum now,” Agus told The National.
“One of the important things is leadership, as everything rises and falls on leadership.
“At the moment, you can hear from the prime minister and some of the senior ministers during various conferences and gatherings, that tourism is very important for this country.
“Ninety per cent of Pacific countries – apart from PNG – depend on tourism as the core of their economic activities.
“In PNG, we have petroleum, mining, all these things, so tourism seems to be taking a backstage.
“We really need to develop tourism, because if we start to depend too much on the non-renewable sectors, we really start feeling the impact when commodity prices go down.
“That’s why we really need to develop the tourism sector.”
Agus said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had recently made some announcements to boost tourism including the waiver of visa fees for all Australian bona-fide tourists, and Air Niugini flights between Port Moresby and Shanghai in China.

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