By HELEN TARAWA
TOURISTS from Australia had the opportunity to attend the Tufi Tapa and Tattoo Cultural Show when MV True North sailed into Tufi at the weekend.
Logistic manager Simon Tewson told The National that they had scheduled their trip into Tufi to coincide with the show.
“I used to be the manager at the Tufi Dive Resort and so when she (MV True North) first came to PNG about 15 years ago, she has since been spending two months in the country,” he said.
“We bring international tourists over and we do five trips in two months.
“There are about 36 passengers so we do the Sepik, New Hanover Kavieng and for the last three years we have been going to Bougainville.
“We cover Alotau and Mortlock Islands, we have been pretty much everywhere in PNG.”
Tewson said when they first started 14 years ago, it took three or four years but they’ve had people on board who had been to PNG on board the ship four-five times.
“We knew about the cultural show, it worked in really well for us to be here and we are really happy to have attended the show, it’s a very good experience.
“When we are here we also do diving and snorkelling so it’s great.”
Tewson said a lot of the tourists came into PNG and expect to see tropical beaches and good snorkelling and diving spots but what impressed them most were the cultural shows.
“I’ve been up here all my life so I work around the whole area, I ensure that when we go into the villages they are paid properly if we are using their resources and all the places that we go to also always welcome us back.
“We do a lot of donations, including generators for power and other resources to the villagers and it’s a win-win situation,” he said.
The vessel has a chopper on board which takes tourists to various locations.
While it was berthed at Tufi, some tourists were flown into Isurava along the Kokoda Track as part of their programme.
“From that little ship, it is very famous in Western Australia because we come here, bigger ships come to PNG,” he said.
Tourist Kim Kertesz said he was very happy to be at the show and was able to buy lots of artefact to take home.
By HELEN TARAWA