The National, Tuesday 26th, 2012
THE Papua New Guinea Ports Corporation Ltd (PNGPCL), in its aim to be the premier maritime service company in the country, has bought an inflatable tent to boost its cruise ship tourism initiatives.
The purchase of the Zeppelin Mobile Systems inflatable tent will serve as a temporary transit shelter or passenger terminal for tourists who visit Port Moresby on cruise ships.
Chief executive officer Stanley Alphonse said the corporation was keen to continue to support and promote tourism in Papua New Guinea through the facilitation of cruise shipping throughout its network of 15 declared ports.
Alphonse said while there were challenges to rehabilitate its existing network of ports, the corporation was focused and committed to operating its ports and wharf facilities in a manner that not only generated maximum benefits to end users but “balances and promotes the overall economic and development objectives of the national government”.
The corporation has strategised its administration and operations and aligned its services towards maritime tourism and especially the cruise shipping industry with its initiatives to support the industry apart from the general rehabilitation of its wharf infrastructure.
Some of the initiatives include the Volunteer Youth Ambassadors Programme (VYA), discounts on pilotage charges for all cruise ships, rehabilitation and maintenance of berths and wharfs.
“PNGPCL aims to construct dedicated coastal passenger facilities at its major ports of Lae and Port Moresby, which can be utilised by foreign tourists with improved security initiatives for passengers, vessels and all port infrastructures,” Alphonse said.
The inflatable tent will be used as a temporary passenger terminal dedicated to tourists, with plans to have one each for the ports of Alotau and Rabaul, which are some of the hot spots for cruise ships.
Alphonse said tourism was and would continue to be an important industry in the country that generated income earning opportunities for a large cross section of Papua New Guineans if all key government and semi-government stakeholders pooled their resources to promote the industry.
He said the maritime industry played a significant role in promoting tourism through the facilitation of cruise shipping in any country and PNG was no exception.
“PNG Ports recognises its role as a significant stakeholder in promoting this industry and this role involves the provision of safe berthing facilities, reasonable and secure passenger terminals and the necessary support at the respective ports of call,” Alphonse said.