Papua New Guinea is reliant on the Australian market for visitors which accounts for 53 per cent of entry into the country for business and holiday travels.
This was according to the 2018 International Visitors Survey (IVS) statistics by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), PNG Tourism Authority (PNGTPA) and New Zealand Tourism Research Institute.
PNGTPA director marketing research and statistics Alice Kuaningi said, the Australian visitors are the strongest repeat market with just over half are holiday visitors having been to PNG at least once before and 20 per cent have been visiting more than ve times.
“About 27 per cent of the Australian visitors have a household income over K401,606.42 (US100,000) which is likely linked to higher spending compared to smaller markets from North America and Europe,” Ms Kuaningi said.
She said the Australian market is driven by adventure and historical tourism in which are highly participating in hiking, trekking and WWII tours.’’
“The nature of the visit could also include the culture such as festival events, nature like ecotourism and photography and the history which includes the war history.”
Along with the visits to the tourism provinces outside of Port Moresby, Central, Morobe and Northern provinces that receive most visitors, there have been rise of 25 per cent of visitors to Milne Bay and 17 per cent increase of visitors to East New Britain (ENB) which the two provinces are designated as future key tourism destinations that will bring millions to the local economies.
However with the increase of visitors into PNG Ms Kuaningi said the share of visitors for holidays rose seven per cent from 26 per cent of total visitors in 2017 to 33 per cent in 2018.
“This indicates that PNG is starting to close their holiday market gap and coming closer to the global average holiday market of 53 per cent of total visitors,” she said.
According to the survey Ms Kuaningi said the holiday visitors are the highest spenders in PNG in which they spend 15 per cent more than business travelers and 95 per cent more than visitors who visit family and friends.