Discerning potential tourists and tourism service providers alike will be happy to learn that the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority is keen on developing more tourism products this year.
This according to the tourism authority’s chief executive officer Jerry Agus who said yesterday that PNG TPA would be embarking on a partnership endeavour with provinces and districts to identify and develop marketable tourism products.
Mr Agus’s sentiments were in direct response to a challenge issued by Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Richard Maru last week.
When presenting the cheque and a sum of K1 million from the National Government’s Tourism Sector Development Initiative fund, Mr Maru urged Mr Agus and his team to be innovative and vibrant.
Mr Maru said that there were so many more tourist attractions and products that PNG could offer in our various unique locales and as such encouraged the Authority to take up the mantle as the country’s tourism developer and really get to exposing the wonders of PNG.
Mr Agus said that he was happy to take on the challenge and was confident in his experienced and technically savvy team.
“We will be working with our industry partners and key stakeholders to develop new and existing tourism products that not only meet international standards but more importantly provide satisfaction and a lasting impression for our international visitors,” he said.
Mr Agus said TPA had already signed memorandums of understanding with several provincial governments and other development partners that are keen to develop attractive tourism products.
“For the first time in a long time, provincial governments and district development authorities are eager to partner with TPA to develop tourism in their respective areas and that is something we are keen to start implementing in 2019 onwards,” he said.
Mr Agus said that TPA had done a lot of product scoping and awareness in the past 12 months in provinces such as New Ireland, Bougainville, East New Britain, Milne Bay, West New Britain, Morobe, Madang, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, and East Sepik.
He said several provinces and districts had already earmarked funding which TPA would also support with relevant resources.
Mr Agus also thanked the National Government for providing the largest development budget since Independence for tourism in 2019, saying TPA would do its utmost best to deliver on the Government’s tourism sector development agenda.