RAPHAEL WAYNE DAMOK
IT is time to involve more Papua New Guineans in the tourism and hospitality industry in a bigger way, National Development Bank managing director Richard Maru said.
Mr Maru said this yesterday when presenting a cheque for K5,000 to the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) as the bank’s contribution towards the hosting of the fifth national tourism conference in Port Moresby.
He challenged TPA to work closely with local tour operators to run affordable and efficient services as well as looking to set up offices overseas to promote PNG as an attractive and affordable tourist destination.
“A lot of tour operators in the country are run by Australians.
“Why can’t local tour operators be resourced by the Government and managed in a sustainable way so that overseas dollars that come here are retained?” Mr Maru asked.
He said the Government and TPA should focus on the local participation of the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure that Papua New Guineans were in a position to run and control this sector.
TPA manager Jerry Agus said stakeholders attending the conference would look at sharing ideas and views of empowering and encouraging small people to go into tourism-based businesses.TPA and NDB have been working under a partnership arrangement for more than a year in which NDB provides loans to citizens to develop new motels, guesthouses, and backpacker accommodation to grow the indigenous tourism service sector.