Unity needed to make Madang great, says Sir Peter

Peter Barter

PROMINENT Madang resident Sir Peter Barter says all stakeholders, including the government and people, need to work in partnership to make Madang a great place.
Sir Peter, who is the managing director of Melanesian Tourist Services (MTS) Ltd, said this following the formation of the Madang Tourism Industry Association (MTIA) which aims to develop a workable tourism plan in collaboration with relevant authorities.
“Madang was the model tourism province back in the day, we pioneered provincial tourist offices, the Madang Visitors and Cultural Bureau was the most effective tourist organisation in PNG in terms of development and promotion,” he said.
“The image of Madang will not improve unless we make it happen in partnership on a level playing field.”
Sir Peter said it was good to see people mobilising to clean up the town.
“In the last week, we have witnessed some clean up, grass cutting around town by the Madang urban local level government (LLG) and youth groups,” he said.
“Some have been sponsored by local non-government organisations and companies.
“We, at MTS, and Madang Resort have always kept the area around the resort at the Fish market, Rotary Park and the Lighthouse clean and cut grass weekly ourselves in the hope that other companies would do the same.
“We also have kids of staff, picking up plastic bags and, recently, repairing potholes in roads until we were instructed not to do so.”
“At present, work is underway on the Madang Airport which will take another few years to complete, by this time, the Covid-19 pandemic should be solved but it is during this time we need to plan immediately to attract local travel and plan post Covid-19.
“Most hotels are working with both airlines to provide attractive packages and we are working closely with Air Niugini to get an agreement in place to access lower airfares for tourism, this will make Madang, Sepik and many destinations in PNG more attractive for both domestic and international travel.”
Sir Peter said the staging of the Miss Madang beauty pageant at the Madang Resort this week was good news.
“The special guest will be Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and the master of ceremony will be Leoshina Kariha, the former Miss Madang, Miss PNG and Miss Pacific Islands,” he said.
“We’ve already booked 300 for this event.
“Many other similar events are being planned for the remainder of the year and 2021.”