Study: K690mil made from visitors flying in


AROUND 95,000 visitors arrived in the country by air last year, generating more than K690 million (US$205 million) in the economy, according to a survey.
The international visitor survey was carried out by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, in partnership with the PNG Tourism Association and New Zealand Tourism Research Institute.
The air arrivals were part of the total 195,000 international visitors to PNG last year.
Some arrived in cruise ships as well.
The figure included those who came for short-term and long-term employment.
The survey showed that visitors arriving by air for tourism, business and to visit friends and relatives had increased by 10 percent from 2017.
The biggest spending by the 95,000 visitors was on accommodation, airfares, food and drinks.
Visitors on holiday were the biggest spenders, staying an average of 10 nights and spending more than US$2500 (K8,460) per person per trip.
While they only made up 33 per cent of total visitors in 2018, it was an increase from 26 per cent of total visitors in 2017.
Business travellers are still the largest group of visitors, making up 50 per cent of people arriving by air.
They stay for about nine nights, spending about US$2,170 (K7,343) per person per trip.
Resident representative of IFC in PNG John Vivian said the survey showed the potential for the country to grow its tourism market, “with a seven percent increase in holiday makers arriving by air in 2018, compared to the previous year”.
“While the research shows visitors nominated safety and security as well as infrastructure as key areas for improvement, it’s significant that over 90 per cent of the people said they would return to the country.”
The survey also showed that PNG remained heavily reliant on the Australian market for visitors, with Australians accounting for just over half of all the visitors. Australians visited tourism sites in the Central and Northern “with keen interest in historical and adventure tourism”.
PNG Tourism Promotion Authority chief executive officer Jerry Agus said tourism “cuts across all sectors and needs the concerted efforts of relevant sector agencies to address issues such as law and order
and infrastructure developments”.
“Every Papua New Guinean citizen is encouraged to embrace the importance of tourism by doing their bit to help lift the image and profile of the country.”
Agus said it was not the sole responsibility of the authority.

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