ADB Report: Tourism Will Help The Pacific Region's Growth Rebound In 2022
by PNG Business News - December 21, 2021
Photo credit: Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority
According to the current issue of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM), the Pacific economies are expected to return in 2022.
While the Pacific region's GDP prediction was cut to -0.6 per cent in 2021 in the ADB study, the subregion is expected to increase by 4.7 per cent in 2022 as widespread immunization against coronavirus illness (COVID-19) allows borders to gradually reopen. This is intended to improve trade and tourism in the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu, among other places. A brighter prognosis for Papua New Guinea's extractives industry is also expected to contribute considerably to this recovery.
“As the Pacific region gradually reopens borders, safeguarding the health, resuming safe travel, strengthening economic management, and promoting fiscal sustainability will be key to ensuring a resilient recovery from COVID-19,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.
According to the PEM, reopening to travellers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 is critical for the tourism industry's future. The number of tourists to Pacific sites has remained limited, with the majority of visitors arriving via travel bubble agreements with bilateral partners. However, due to dangers associated with the global rise of COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, these preparations had to be put on hold. For near-term tourism in the Pacific, a sustainable return to safe travel will be vital. This, in turn, will be determined by vaccine rollout success, which has been inconsistent, with near-universal coverage of eligible people in the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, and Palau, contrasting with relatively modest adoption in Melanesian nations.
Other country issues and policy themes critical to mitigating risks to the Pacific's recovery are explored in the PEM. It discusses public finance sustainability in the Cook Islands through fiscal consolidation and state-owned enterprise reforms in the Marshall Islands and Palau. Other articles focus on specific aspects of economic recovery, such as female labour participation in Fiji, labour mobility initiatives in Kiribati and Tuvalu, and reducing the burden of noncommunicable illness in Niue, Samoa, and Tonga. The PEM also looks at topics that are important across the subregion when it comes to the sustainable management of fisheries resources.
The PEM's policy briefs look at significant problems that will have a big impact on the Pacific's overall economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis. The Lowy Institute's contribution estimates the time it will take Pacific countries to vaccinate their people and cautions that an unequal vaccine rollout would have long-term consequences for the region's growth. Another contribution from the Private Sector Development Initiative looks at the possibilities for tourism following COVID-19 and how rephrasing tourism goals and targets while including sustainability indicators might help people better comprehend tourism as a growth strategy. The final policy brief examines the topic of domestic resource mobilization and its role in ensuring the Pacific's public finances are sustainable.
The Asian Development Bank is dedicated to establishing a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while continuing to fight extreme poverty. It was founded in 1966 and is owned by 68 people, 49 of them are from the region.
Reference: Asian Development Bank (14 December 2021). “Tourism to Help Pacific Growth Rebound in 2022, Says ADB Report the region”.
PNG Business News - March 01, 2021
Reforms Needed in the Tourism Industry: Minister
Crucial reforms have to be made so that the tourism industry can move forward.According to Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Isi Leonard, they need to ensure that the environment for the tourism industry is significant to these changing times. He added that the enforcement of standards will add value to competitive advantage as a destination to ensure that the process of tourism goes smoothly. “Papua New Guinea’s tourism industry is a sleeping giant and has a huge potential to generate considerable wealth for our country,” he said. “The tourism industry will play a vital role in growing Papua New Guinea’s economy by harnessing the huge untapped tourism potential and open doors to the outside world into our shores to a million different journeys."He is confident that the national tourism plan will give the guidelines and frameworks for the tourism industry to get back on track. “We have to take back our tourism industry at the local level to the national level,” he said. “Every citizen in the Informal Sector, MMSEs, SMEs and big corporate organizations in all sectors of the economy can effectively participate and contribute to the overall growth and productivity of the Tourism Industry in Papua New Guinea.”
PNG Business News - February 17, 2021
COVID Has Affected the Tourism Industry
The pandemic has indeed affected the tourism industry in the country.This was according to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Isi Henry Leonard who said that the travel restrictions has brought less international tourists to enter the country and has caused fewer tourism activities. However, he said that it is important to promote local tourism and activities in the country. “Our local tourism sector is also affected but not to that extent,” he said. “So we should now put more emphasis on local tourism by ensuring support in terms of travel and mobility within the country.”He added that a national plan was already in the works to align tourism in the country after the ill effects of the pandemic. “I think the plan should provide the way forward for tourism to rise above the Covid-19 challenges in the tourism sector,” he said. “We need to protect the tourism sector by devising possible solutions and strategies to ensure the sector continues to be promoted and maintained. So for me, I think we should emphasis more on local tourism by bringing programs and activities back to where the people are.” Once the plan is finalised, he said that they will seek the support of the National Executive Council.
PNG Business News - March 01, 2021
Tourism and Tourism-Related Businesses One of the Hardest Hit by COVID
With international borders shut down to contain the virus, PNG experienced a downfall in international travellers from January to June last year - 32,805 as compared with 75,556 of the same period n 2019, a drop of 57 per cent. In addition, tourism-related businesses and enterprises suffered major losses, and there is a dearth of tourists visiting shopping malls and recreational parks In an assessment survey conducted last September and October, tourism stakeholders and tourism product owners revealed interesting responses.According to the chief executive officer of the Port Moresby Nature Park, park visits fell from 70,346 visitors between March and August 2019 to 42,435 over the same period in 2020, a drop of 40 per cent. There were also a lot of cancellations of programs and projects for the parks. Also suffered was the souvenir shop of the park as there were no tourists anymore. However, some good samaritans also helped the park such as the Sir Brian Bell Foundation and the British High Commission paying entrance fees for their students and teachers. In addition, the earnings of local artisans were disrupted too.The hotel industry was another one of those hardest hit. Facing closure were the Ela Beach Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express because there were no tourists or visitors. Rates for room occupancy also dropped. But operations started picking up last quarter of 2020, especially with the food and beverages at the hotel. Lodges also faced some massive challenges. Aside from the airlines, travel agents such as PNG Explorers International, Mix Travel Limited also faced some losses and huge cancellations. Others such as dry cleaning, rental cars, barbershops, and florists all lacked customers.Local arts and crafts vendors also struggled.While it is believed that international travels boost the economy, domestic tourism can also contribute a lot. It is, therefore, everyone’s business to keep tourism alive in PNG.
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Get over it... with PNG Forest Products' NiuBridge
Photo: NiuBridge on the Boluminski Hwy, New Ireland, PNG You know how they say, “Build a bridge… and get over it”? Well with PNGFP NiuBridge you don’t have to build it, because it’s already built! These expertly designed and engineered modular bridges are prefabricated to your specifications by PNG Forest Products. With a design life of 50+ years and installed cost base typically under half that of equivalent concrete or steel, NiuBridge is the ideal, most cost-effective solution for bridging installations in Papua New Guinea. The NiuBridge System includes deck, girders, kerbing and accessories, and comes with a pre-applied bitumen surface. Little maintenance is required thanks to PNGFP’s unique veneer preservation treatment, ensuring complete protection from termites and rotting. NiuBridge is manufactured from PNG plantation pine to both AS/NZS 2269 and AS/NZS 1604 standards and exploits the advantages of natural timber, which is not subject to fatigue failure, unlike other materials such as steel and concrete. Available in single lane, dual lane, or custom design, NiuBridge is suitable for a range of load conditions including Austroads T44 and AS 500 Bridge Design. NiuBridge and sister product NiuDeck are widely used by local and state governments across Australia. The peak body for the timber industry in Queensland has welcomed these products as a demonstration of the versatility and innovation of using Engineered Wood Products in bridge construction. “Using prefabricated timber systems in bridges is gaining greater market recognition due to their inherent strength, light weight and low carbon emissions footprint compared to other construction materials”, said the CEO of Timber Queensland, Mick Stephens. So next time you need to get over it, don’t waste valuable time and loads of money building a bridge. Buy a NiuBridge and get over it sooner and more cost effectively!
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Need help with to live, work and study in Australia and with student enrolments in EQI accredited schools? Ask Migration Plus!
Photo credit: Migration Plus Migration Plus is a leading Migration firm in Cairns, in the Far North Queensland region providing professional migration advice to students, individuals, government, businesses and corporate groups including the mining, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and air services industries. Migration Plus are also Education Agents with Qualified Education Counsellors on their team and they represent a number of reputable universities and colleges across Australia, including Education Queensland International (EQI) for student enrolments. They work closely with EQI and have successfully assisted PNG students enrol in schools across Queensland and also assisted with visa applications for the students for many years. With Australian borders opening to international visitors, temporary workers and international students, they can assist you with all migration matters for your business and family to visit, work or study in Australia. Now is the time to start your children’s enrolment to study in any of the EQI’s accredited schools from Prep to Year 12. Education Counsellors at Migration Plus can assist your children’s enrolment for Year 10, Semester 2, the important pathway into senior high school subjects through the Senior Education and Training Plan. Semester 2 commences in July 2022. With an in-depth knowledge of migration law, their specialist team provides a complete solution to your migration requirements and coordinate all facets of your migration needs. The Migration Plus team is very passionate about what they we do – the rewards of being able to assist in changing lives and helping clients achieve their goals is first and foremost. With over 90 years of combined experience available to you, you can count on their highly specialised team for accurate advice. Contact the Specialist team for further information.
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 16, 2022
Australia Opens Its Doors to International Students
Photo credit: Education Queensland International “International students are an important part of the Australian community, and we are excited to welcome them back to our classrooms, campuses and communities.” This was the announcement posted on their website by the Australian Government last February to herald the reopening of international travel to students. “Australia’s borders are open to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders.”  “From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.”  The Australian Government said that international students will be subject to Australian Government border restrictions and any State and Territory quarantine and testing requirements. Quarantine and testing arrangements for State and Territories are frequently changing. Therefore, international students are advised to visit www.Australia.gov.au/states to be updated with the latest information and announcements of the Australian Government. In relation to this, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a “factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students” which is available for downloading from the website.  “All visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes fully vaccinated international students.”  Here are more important reminders from the Australian Government: People who do not meet Australia’s vaccination requirements for international travel must apply for a travel exemption to travel to Australia, unless they are in an exempt category. Visa holders who arrive in Australia may have their visa cancelled and be detained and removed if they: are not fully vaccinated for international travel purposes in accordance with Australia’s border entry requirements; or do not have a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine as defined by the Australian Government; or are not in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption. To be considered as “fully vaccinated for international travel purpose” to or from Australia, one should have completed a primary course of a vaccine approved or recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed doses. The currently approved or recognised vaccines for travel are the following: Two doses at least 14 days apart of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca Covishield, Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, Moderna Spikevax or Takeda, Sinovac Coronavac, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia), Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V, Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid. Single-dose dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine are also in the list of approved and recognized vaccines. “At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.” How about exceptions for vaccination requirements and arrangement for children? “People with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12, can access the same travel arrangement as people who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes.” Moreover, temporary visa holders who are younger than 18 years old at the time of departure for international travel to Australia do not require an approved travel exemption when the child is travelling with at least one adult who is fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. “Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia may be exempt from passenger caps and eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. Travellers should always check the quarantine requirements for the state or territory they plan to travel to, or transit through, prior to arranging their travel.” “If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps.” For more information on vaccination travel requirements, quarantine rules, and other related matter, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers. Reference:  https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers  Factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students/resources/factsheet-reopening-international-travel-students