The tourism industry in the country has slowly been resuscitated from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing on post Covid-19, tourism as a renewable industry has the potential to gradually pick up.
These were the remarks of the Minister for Culture, Arts & Tourism Isi Henry Leonard where he addressed guests, stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry and respective individuals in a two-day Consultative Workshop of the PNG Tourism Policy and the TPA Marketing Strategy Development at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby recently.
The two days consolation workshop was to review the formulation of the National Tourism Policy Framework and Tourism Marketing Strategy.
“We as industry players have to seriously reflect on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ask some serious questions about how we can revive the tourism industry in our country.”
The Tourism Sector Development Plan was drafted after the Covid-19 pandemic and captured valuable lessons from the pandemic and the current development trend in technology and provides the pathway for effective inclusive and sustainable growth of the tourism industry for the next 5 years.
“As Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, I’m proud to say that the Tourism Promotion Authority has successfully drafted the PNG Tourism Sector Development Plan 2022-2026.”
“I was privileged to have launched the plan last year.”
The Minister said tourism in itself is a multi-complex industry and needs a multi-sectoral approach to fully harness its potential, and in Papua New Guinea where there are over 800 different tribes with a complex social structure, he admitted that engaging in tourism businesses in PNG while complying with international standards will prove to be a challenge.
“This is attributed to the fact that we have an outdated legislation and marketing strategies that TPA and the Tourism sector PNG have been operating from since TPA’s establishment in 1993.”
The Minister further revealed that Papua New Guinea’s current Tourism Policy (1995), whilst broad and practical in its approach, has become largely outdated, ineffective, and non-reflective of present-day legislation and trends.
“We envisage a new Tourism Policy Framework adopted to take account of and respond to developments in the fast-changing environment of the tourism sector.”
“The Tourism Promotion Authority Marketing Strategy (2018-2022) is also due for review, particularly as resultant boarder closures have seen markets segments, trends and scenarios shift.”
“A new marketing strategy is required to reflect the changing nature of consumer behaviour and the tourism product in PNG.”
Minister Isi acknowledged the assistance in reviving the country’s tourism industry from international partners like the Asian Development Bank through its Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative to undertake activities to support longer-term and sustainability and resilience planning of the PNG tourism industry.