Change in tourism policy needed


CHANGES to the tourism policy is needed to make the most of people visiting Papua New Guinea, which has increased by 166 per cent in the 10 years from 2005 to 2015, a report says.
A report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also warns that continued visitor growth is not inevitable and that government action is needed to attract more from the lucrative tourist market.
Despite the high growth in visitor numbers, tourism revenue in PNG remains low compared to other Pacific countries, it says.
The ADB report Tourism as a Driver of Growth in the Pacific: A Pathway to Growth and Prosperity for Pacific Island Countries offers a number of recommendations to be taken to correct this. It recommends that the national tourism policies be reviewed with a view to increasing visitor numbers and spending. This includes fostering tourist attractions around the country, such as developing Madang as a tourist destination, especially for cruise ships, and increasing Mount Wilhelm’s tourism potential by improving access to it.
It also says the restoration of the Baiyer River aanctuary could attract tourists to the area.
It also recommends that PNG and other Pacific Islands countries create an enabling environment to facilitate tourism growth and maximise benefits.
ADB Pacific liaison and coordination office regional adviser Rob Jauncey said while many Pacific countries were using tourism effectively to generate income and employment, “opportunities exist to expand and increase its benefits and ensure its sustainability”.
“As Pacific countries develop and pursue strategies to grow their tourism sectors, ADB stands ready to offer insight and advice, and provide technical assistance, finance, or coordination support,” he said.
The report was produced by ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, a regional technical assistance programme undertaken with the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

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