Alotau, Kokopo K63mil funding first of its kind

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The World Bank’s K63 million funding of tourism in Milne Bay and East New Britain is the first of its kind for the sector, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel says.
“We have arranged a facility with the World Bank for US$20 million (K63mil) and it is being split between Kokopo and Alotau as the initial investment locations for the tourism hub concept,” said Abel when explaining the development planned for Alotau and Kokopo.
“I have just been discussing with the Tourism Promotion Authority the implementation of that programme and each of the centre has its own committees established which will be guiding this process.
“In the case of Alotau, that funding will be used to complete the urban development plan for the town and within that plan it will be funding some specific infrastructure development.”
Abel said Alotau has facilities for cruise ships, the airport and support facilities which cater for tourism and which need upgrading.
“There is also a mall concept that we have developed where the two main streets of Alotau town will be closed off and developed into a mall,” he said.
“All the shopfronts will be upgraded, with cafeterias and landscaping.
“All the street lights, toilets and footpaths will also be upgraded.
“There will be a training programme as well, which will integrate some of our youths into the maintenance of the facilities under Alotau Town Authority.”
The funding will be concentrated on the two provinces to better utilise loans as opposed to “thinly spreading” the funds across all provinces, Abel said.
“It does not mean that we are neglecting the other centres, but rather concentrating on those centres to develop them into centre for agriculture, fisheries and other key industries that could help develop the centres. While this sectors are crosscutting, we need to give focus as otherwise it is too thinly spread and you don’t see much visibility.”

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