PNG Tourism report in Parliament
3 July, 2019, 11:10 pm
PORT MORESBY, 03 JULY 2019 (POST COURIER)—Papua New Guinea Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Emil Tammur said the time to talk is over and now is the time to walk the talk about tourism in the country.
Tammur said the Prime Minister has given a big task in taking back PNG in tourism, arts and culture because it’s the arts and culture that makes Papua New Guinea what it is.
He said this when presenting the 2017 PNG Tourism Promotion Authority annual financial report in Parliament.
Tammur said PNGTPA through the support of the government had extended its partnership for the first time to include international agencies and financiers like the World Bank.
“Under the government’s tourism hub concept, we have secured K60 million to roll out programs in Milne Bay and East New Britain. This was the first time the tourism sector had received such a huge external funding to roll out in 2018 onwards.”
Tammur said the statistics was not all good in 2017, as international visitors dropped 15 per cent registering 181,840 international visitors.
He said the decrease was due mainly because it was the election year and many people were worried in visiting the country due to fear of violence and negative reporting by the media.
“Despite that we continue to see growth in the cruise tourism sector as more and more people visted our remote and isolated atolls and stunning islands by luring 35 cruise ships which brought in 40 000 cruise tourist in 2017 alone and will continue to grow.”
He said since 2017, TPA has also increased funding ofr major cultural festivals around PNG which are a major tourism attraction.
“I hope in future the national government can provide direct funding for cultural festivals through the national budget.
“Time for giving lip service to an industry that has huge potential given our unique and diverse cultures, our beautiful islands, our majestic rolling mountains, our diverse flora and fauna, and our abundant and colourful marine life, must stop now.”
“Parliament will note that this government is serious about tourism development as indicated in our budget allocation of K27 million (US$7.9 million) this year.”
Tammur said much of the K27 million went towards the development of niche tourism products to boost PNG’s presence and compatibility in the tourism market. He said the 2017 Audited Annual Financial report is testament of the professionalism at the PNGTPA and as minister responsible he is proud of the organisation.
Tammur said PNGTPA continues to set a precedent as a State agency and government department that abides by the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act in delivering timely annual report to Parliament.