Marat backs Watom resort

National, Normal

The National, Monday 12th December 2011

PLANS to build a resort on Watom Island in Rabaul, East New Britain, will generate spin-off benefits for the host communities and employment for local people, Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat said.
He said the Rabaul joint district planning and budget priorities committee (JDP&BPC) recently approved K300,000 for the Watom eco-tourism pro­ject.
Marat, who is also the chairman of te Rabaul JDP&BPC said the allocation of funds for the development of
the resort had been seen as a potential for luring tourists and citizens from within Papua New Guinea to
enjoy the beauty and scenery
that would be on offer when the project bore fruit.
He said there would be extra income for the people from their cultural performances and sales of artefacts.
Marat said the K300,000 for the Watom Island eco-tourism project would enable the respective incorporated lands groups (ILGs) and local level governments (LLGs) to build a resort
with facilities like a house wind, guest house, dive centre, bush trekking and other
activities that would attract tourists.
The island resort will be jointly funded by the Rabaul district administration and the East New
Britain tourism promotion authority after a submission is sent to them to help in counterpart funding.`
Marat said the LLG and  ILG would partner with a reputable tourist tour operator in the district to manage the facilities.
The proposed site will have road or track access to the Rakival pottery site (Lapita) and the Vunabang service centre at Rau.