Photo: Isi Henry Leonard
Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Isi Henry Leonard claims that the National Cultural Commission (NCC) cannot reasonably promote Papua New Guinea's tourism industry.
“We have to work in partnership with provincial governments at the national level to develop the industry,” he added.
Leonard stated that the government was, therefore, signing MOU with various provincial governments to partner in tourism-culture based promotions at the national level while speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the NCC and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Government (ABG).
“We need partners and stakeholders to work in partnership to preserve, safeguard, protect, develop and promote our cultural heritage,” he said.
The MOU that was signed between the ABG and NCC, according to Leonard, would guarantee that Bougainville assumed ownership of the arts, cultures, cultural institutions, assets, buildings, places, cultural programmes, and events that were held in the area.
“Tourism is the second highest and growing industry with an annual net worth of K500 billion across the world, and that the country can benefit from a slice of that K500 billion,” he added.
According to Leonard, Bougainville is well-positioned along the routes taken by cruise ships and would be a popular tourist destination.
Additionally, he said that Bougainville's World War II remnants had elevated the independent zone and would be crucial to drawing tourists.
“That is a bonus to what you already have in-terms of your traditional culture to showcase,” he said.
“I believe the war relics, such as the site where Japanese army general Yamamoto was said to have crashed could be turned into a tourist site, likewise many other areas across Bougainville.”
Reference: The National (6 December 2022). “NCC, ABG ink tourism agreement”.