THE Tourism Promotions Authority (TPA) has set itself some ambitious targets from 2007-17 to achieve the potential which PNG has to utilise and tap into the tourism industry.
Even though there has been significant improvement over the past five years within the sector, a lot still has to be done “to lift the appeal of PNG as a major tourist destination and to enable it to compete more effectively on quality rather than price,” as stated in a current report by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
In the PNGTPA’s final report on the PNG tourism sector review and master plan for 2007-17, which sets out the opportunities for improvement for tourism development in PNG for the next 10 years, will require a sustained and increased budgetary support from the national and provincial governments and from within the industry.
These recommendations will focus on dealing with the constraints to overhaul the capacity, incentives, awareness, infrastructure, safety, immigration and costs within the sector.
Manager for PNGTPA’s policy and planning Jerry Agus said so far “implementation has been successful of the master plan for 2007-17, however, there is still a need for a sustained and increased budgetary projects”.
Previously the undertaking of marketing was solely the function of PNGTPA, however, it has currently taken a holistic approach, carrying it out with key stakeholders.
Apart from the stakeholders in the country, the PNGTPA currently has dealings in only four countries to market the PNG product overseas. They are Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US.
Managing director of GTI Tourism, Sarah Anderson, who manages the Australia and New Zealand market for the PNGTPA, said: “The main aim for the PNGTPA now is to increase awareness and visitor arrival figures and length of stay and yield.”
Regular awareness and public relations will be essential to raise the profile of the industry and will be the key focus in boosting the tourism industry.