By: Paul Oeka October 17, 2022

Photo: Isi Henry Leonard

Tourism, Art and Culture Minister, Isi Henry Leonard has urged that Papua New Guinea must promote domestic tourism as a pathway forward in order to preserve, safeguard and promote the country’s culture.

“I wanted to see a simple tourism industry that is more people oriented,” he said. The minister stated this to participating students at the 16th University of Papua New Guinea Tourism Seminar at the main campus of the university during the seminar.

This was one of the main and important agendas that the Minister has been in pursuance of since taking office as the Minister appointed and responsible for Tourism, Art and Culture in 2020. Minister Leonard said that it was important that PNG promote domestic tourism by reviving, harnessing and encouraging national cultural festivals nationwide.

He further reiterated that “We are here at this seminar also to promote and help support our students who are keen in participating immensely to the promotion of domestic tourism”.

He added that PNG is vulnerable to Law and Order issues including global pandemics such as Covid-19 and for PNG to remain optimistic in witnessing great participation from effective international tourism opportunities remains unfriendly.

Minister Leonard said, “We have to cultivate our own traditional cultures and promote domestic tourism as much as possible because the domestic tourism sector remains a sleeping giant”.

He further stated that the National Cultural Commission (NCC) is now being reshaped and with the commission’s newly launched Tourism Plan 2022-2026, the agenda of promoting domestic tourism remains a major priority of the industry. The provincial Governments must now partner with the NCC to revive and harness cultural festivals.

Minister Leonard also stressed that Enga and Milne Bay Provinces have already partnered with the commission and are doing well in organizing cultural festivals to promote domestic tourism.

The 16th University of Papua New Guinea Tourism Seminar was sponsored by the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) and organized by 3rd year Tourism and Hospitality Management undergraduate and professional studies students.

He addressed the seminar that Papua New Guineans must be given the opportunity to participate and take ownership of their cultural heritage.

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