Story by Colin Taimbari, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority
The nations of the Pacific have been urged to cooperate and promote the image of the region as a desired tourism destination. PNG Tourism Promotion Authority chief executive Jerry Agus made the call in Sydney, May 2017, at the South Pacific Tourism Exchange.
“While we are independent nations promoting our own destinations we must also unite to promote our region,” he told the regional tourism meet.
The SPTE is a trade event organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation for all national tourism officers in the region including regional airlines and tour operators to meet wholesalers and tie up deals for visitors wanting to tour the nations of the Pacific.
PNG was well represented by some of our major tourism operators including Sir Peter Barter of Melanesia Tourist Services, and Bob Bates of Trans Niugini Tours. AirNiugini was also represented by CEO Simon Foo.
The PNG Community in Sydney performed a traditional Mekeo singsing for the guests with PNGTPA hosting morning tea last Friday at the Sydney International Convention Centre.
Two winners were also announced for sponsored trips to PapuaNew Guinea later this year.
Maggy Pawlica, a director of Eden Plus, was so excited about her prize she could not stop smiling when her name was drawn from a pool of business cards. She will have six nights’ accommodation at Madang Resort, sponsored by Melanesian Tourist Services.
The other winner was Craig Robinson, of Relaxaway Holidays, who won seven nights’ accommodation between Rondon Ridge Lodge in Mount Hagen and Ambua Lodge in Hela, sponsored by Trans Niugini Tours. Both their airline tickets on Air Niugini were sponsored by the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority including the domestic sectors via Port Moresby.
Foo also announced the airlines promotional fare for the Kokoda 75th Anniversary Commemorations. Foo said Air Niugini is offering AUD$75(K175) return fare to any sector in PNG for trekkers that complete the KokodaTrack and want to spend some time visiting other parts of Papua New Guinea.
Agus said it was commendable that senior tourism operators such as Sir Peter Barter took the time to attend the SPTE to not only promote Madang but Papua New Guinea as a whole.
“The tourism sector in PNG can only grow with the support of such senior industry partners and also our key stakeholders working together and I commend them for their continuing support to tourism,” he said.
Countries of the Pacific were well represented at the SPTE with Fiji, Solomon Island and Vanuatu turning up in numbers to sell their respective destinations.
The Pacific in 2016 saw a growth of 3.7 per cent compared to 2015. The SPTO reported that countries such as Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu all saw increases in tourism numbers.
Fiji maintained its supremacy as the lead tourism destination in the region with 40 per cent of the market share, followed by French Polynesia at 9.5 per cent and PNG at 8.8 per cent.
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