Niche market a K890mil growth area for tourism

Business

Developing niche market tourism in Papua New Guinea has the potential to attract 40,000 tourists and contribute K893 million annually by 2027, according to the World Bank Group.
A new research done by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, indicates PNG is lagging behind regional competitors like Fiji and Vanuatu where tourists account for 75 per cent of all visitors.
The IFC, in partnership with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), launched an assessment they did on the tourism demand in PNG yesterday in conjunction with the results of the 2017 International Visitor Survey (IVS), which looks into current tourism trends.
The survey findings show that last year PNG had 86,403 air visitors, who spent around $205 million (K640 million).
Sixty per cent of those visitors travelled to the provinces.
Currently, business travellers make up the highest proportion of people arriving by air in PNG.
However, holiday tourists are the biggest spenders, outlaying $2859 (K8080) per trip.
“Greater investment can help Papua New Guinea boost holiday arrivals and close that gap, increasing revenue, diversifying the economy, and spreading the benefits to rural areas where tourists like to travel,” said John Vivian, IFC resident representative to PNG.
The highlights of the demand assessment show how PNG could better target tourists from high-value niche-markets like cultural tourism, soft adventure, birdwatching, diving and historical tourism.
Collectively, these markets are worth over US$970 billion (K3.03 trillion) globally, of which PNG’s share is about US$93.5 million (K292 million).
TPA chief executive Jerry Agus said both the Government and the private sector would need to make long-term investments in infrastructure, capacity building, product development and marketing to realise this change.
“If we do this, Papua New Guinea has the potential to become a world-class destination over the next 10 years,” he said.
IFC’s tourism project in PNG, supported by Australia and New Zealand under the PNG Partnership, is focused on supporting the development of tourism business, improving tourism-related conditions, and helping attract investment in the tourism sector.

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