PNG can be a tourism hub
PAPUA New Guinea can be one of the best tourism hubs for the Southwest Pacific region if more emphasis is placed on air and sea routes.
And PNG could earn an estimated K20 billion each year if its travel and tourism industry was given priority.
Philippines under secretary for Transportation Artemio U. Tuazon, Jr and Indonesian officials presenting their country’s reports said they stand ready to assist PNG as one of the members of the Southwest Pacific region.
Mr Tuazon said that travel and tourism industry in his country contributed a total of P1.43 trillion or 10.6 per cent to the Philippines GDP in 2015 (World Travel and Tourism Council).
He said there was an immediate attention to improve market access, connectivity and destination infrastructure improvement and rehabilitation of existing airports, improvement of passenger terminal buildings, expansion of apron and landside areas, construction of new runways, asphalt overlay of runways, improvement of other domestic airports to have night-rated facilities, conversion of domestic airports to international airports, tourism destination areas and provision of new air traffic control equipment to integrate with communication navigation surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system to name a few.
“PNG needs to expand capacity and improve levels of service to international standards, upgrade its cruise tourism ports, construct additional roll-on roll-off ramps, wharf expansion, upgrading of bollards to accommodate big cruise ships,” he said.
“But all these cannot be achieved in a year, you need political leadership, the finance and many negotiations including the effort from responsible stakeholders. But PNG is rich and just needs to prioritise.
“We can help by sharing ideas and of course we can help in other sectors with counterparts,” he said.