Crime, high airfares hit Madang

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday 13th December 2011

ESCALATING criminal activities and high airfares have been blamed for the drop in tourism in Madang.  
However, the managing director of Madang Resort Sir Peter Barter remained confident that the “tourist Mecca” of PNG will soon return to its former glory days and was utilising the newly launched Travel Air flights between Madang and other centres like Port Moresby to lure tourists back.
He was offering special tourist/holiday packages starting with the Madang and Port Moresby sector.
 “Historically, Madang was booked out over the Christmas period with PNG residents seeking a festive season break in what has become the tourist Mecca of PNG.
“In more recent years, the increase in crime coupled with high airfares and more attractive international packages to places like Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney as well as Asian ports served by Air Niugini, has forced residents to leave PNG despite the fact that the destination they choose overseas has less to offer than many parts of PNG including Madang,” Sir Peter said.
“The package negotiated with Travel Air should address the problem of costs as we are offering two nights in standard rooms at the Madang Resort, with breakfasts, free tennis, kayaking, sailing and enjoying the Madang resort’s fine facilities from a mere K799 which is just about half the price of a round trip air ticket to Madang – equivalent to A$360,” he said.
 “This is a basic package … additional options include upgrading to executive rooms extensions up to seven nights as well as sightseeing, diving, car rental, cruising, golf, snorkelling … and over the Christmas New Year period the Madang resort is offering extended day cruises to Bagabag aboard the luxurious Kalibobo Spirit,” he said.
Sir Peter said the packages were valid until Jan 31.
He said packages “could only be purchased direct through the Madang Resort or Melanesian Tourist Services by contacting Wesley or Miriam on 424 1300”.
Sir Peter welcomed the start of Travel Air services to Madang which would help boost tourism and lure conferences to Madang in the New Year.