International Visitors Decline in 2020

By: PNG Business News April 19, 2021

According to the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, the number of foreign tourists to the country declined by about 82 per cent last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its negative effects on travel (TPA).

In 2020, only 39,000 foreign tourists were counted, down 170,000 from the previous year and the lowest in the last 20 years.

PNG's largest source country, according to the 2020 tourist arrivals survey, is Australia.

In 2019, 103,440 Australians visited Papua New Guinea.

By 2020, the figure had dropped by 86% to just 14,871.

“Visitors from the Philippines were the second-largest international travellers to PNG in 2020, while visitors from China were third,” the authority stated

“Visitors from the Philippines and China dropped by 71 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.”

Visitors came to PNG for work, service, vacation, visiting friends and relatives, school, gatherings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and sports, according to the study.

In the year 2020, 54% of travellers will be looking for work.

“Only 8 per cent came as tourists.

The number of visitors who came for a vacation was 3,399, down 87.5 per cent from the previous year's total of 25,199.

“All tourists arriving in PNG in 2020 were by air.

“No cruise ship visitors were recorded due to the Government’s ban on cruise ships entering the nation’s seaports.

“The international visitor exit survey conducted by the TPA revealed that tourists had spent an estimated K156 million in 2020 – K560 million a less than in 2019 which recorded K715 million in expenditure.”

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