By CLARISSA MOI
RESTRICTIONS on international flights will continue to dramatically impact tourism and the airline industry in the second half of 2020, an official says.
Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rio Fiocco said international flights, border movements and traditional crossing restrictions came under the National Pandemic Act 2020.
“(The absence of) international flights will have a dramatic impact on tourism and the airline industry both of which are struggling,” he said.
“We are not seeing visitors coming in for business purposes. We are not seeing trekkers coming in to walk the Kokoda track. The trekking companies and the villagers are not getting any income.” Fiocco said the business community was not confident at the moment and were anxiously waiting for the Government to approve major resource projects such as Wafi-Golpu in Morobe, P’nyang gas project in Western and Papua LNG project in Gulf.
“Business community is not feeling very confident at the moment,” he said.
He said major events planned for this year such as the Investment Week which attracted businesses houses and investors had been postponed.
Fiocco also noted the impact on the economy with people losing jobs.
Oil Search Ltd last week reduced staff strength by more than 500 employees.
“Unfortunately, all these people losing their jobs has an impact on the economy as there will be less people with less money to do shopping and buy consumer goods,” Fiocco said.
“Businesses are desperately waiting to see which of these new resource projects (Wafi-Golpu, P’nyang and Papua LNG) will be approved and hopefully commence construction.
“Because it’s that sort of thing that will give confidence to business houses to reinvest again.
“And of course, the capital investment of Wafi-Golpu starting up would be a tremendous boost to not only Lae but the whole economy.”
By CLARISSA MOI