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Tourism Industry Sees Dropping Turnout of Visitors

by PNG Business News - May 13, 2021

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's tourism industry has been in a state of emergency, with the number of visitors dropping dramatically.

In response to questions, Melanesian Tourism Services Limited reported that the global COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the tourism sector throughout Papua New Guinea.

“The tourism sector in the country has gone to the dust; this is due to the PNG Government not taking tourism seriously, especially when they concentrate most of their efforts in the Mining, Gas and Petroleum sector,” said Anton Selve.

“Tourism is a sustainable resource itself and until our government gets their act together, we won’t become like Fiji or any other ‘hot’ tourism destination in the world.

“Our tourism sector for last year and this year do look uncertain. Despite the pandemic, Papua New Guineans have to realise that we all need to get vaccinated to get things going post-COVID-19,” Selve said.

He said that if there are any ways of defence against the virus, the pandemic will gradually fade away from this world, and the country will be able to freely host tourism and domestic travel again, with no more lockdowns.

Until that happens, there will be no estimation to the future. 

“We believe that in order to attract tourists to come into this country, we need to actively create facilities to make the world turn their attention to us for something better than crime and see the prospects in the county of million journeys,” Selve said.

Tourism Minister Isi Leonard previously announced that the Ministry is focused on making tourism a people-oriented industry and working with the National Cultural Commission to encourage cultural events as a path forward.

“We are now going rural and supporting cultural activities in the rural areas which are the way forward following the adverse impacts we have been experiencing in the tourism and hospitality industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”



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