Jiwaka has potential ‘in tourism’

The National,Friday July 1st, 2016

JIWAKA has the potential to become the tourism and business hub of the Highlands region, Arts, Tourism and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang says.
He was speaking at the launching of Geru Peng (cultural practice) at Bulunts in North Waghi last Saturday.
“If you can turn your tourism and landscape potential into productive investments, you can become the economic hub of the Highlands.”
Kulang agreed with Jiwaka provincial administrator Michael Wandil’s assessment that canoe racing (kayaking) done in Europe and other countries can be developed along the Waghi River.
“Jiwaka has a lot of potential because it has everything and has a potential second to none,” Kulang said.
“In 10 to 15 years’ time you can take control of the Highlands by redefining the economic landscape of the region.”
He challenged the provincial government and the district authorities to work together to promote culture and tourism.
He said other provinces knew that Jiwaka has the potential to become a leader in tourism and business but it was up to the leaders to make it happen.
Kulang said that Jiwaka had some good leaders in Parliament at the moment and they must continue to maintain that level of leadership.
He said there was potential to build an international airport and hotels in Jiwaka because of its flat land stretching all the way from Dei, in Western Highlands, to Chimbu.
Kulang said tourism remained an important income earner for the country but was not properly recognised and generated only 2.7 per cent of annual national income compared to other Pacific Island countries like Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islandds
He said he was disappointed that there was so much talk about developing gold, copper, oil and gas but nothing was done to develop tourism and culture.