The National, Friday October 18th, 2013
TOURISM and agriculture will help the undeveloped and oppressed rural communities, a local lodge and tour operator says.
Wemso Lodge and Tours general manager Brian Folock said this after launching a website to promote some of the tourism products offered by his organisation and Southern Highlands.
The website, www.wemsolodgetours.com.pg is linked to most of the well-known international tourism operators and sites in the country.
The company runs an eco-tourism business with bases in Port Moresby, Mendi and Mt Hagen.
It provides travel and tour services and has expanded into the hotel industry. It has just opened a new lodge a few kilometres out of Nipa station in Southern Highlands.
Folock said the tourism industry had the potential to boost rural development.
Like the agriculture sector, he said tourism was a big industry that would bring in more revenue, alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment and enhance development and prosperity in rural areas.
He said the industry was waiting to be tapped into and with the right kind of policies, it could transform the lives of people and boost the economy.
“To set the course in this direction, PNG needs to come up with strategic policy framework that encourages and empower the industry,” he said.
He said the Government, through the Tourism Promotion Authority, must organise fact-finding missions to identify the vast, abundant and untapped tourism products and develop them.