Photo credit: PNG Tourism Promotion Authority
Rodney Begley, the acting CEO of PNG Ports Corporation, has announced that Papua New Guinea will be receiving an exceptional number of cruise ships this year. Speaking at a business breakfast forum with the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Begley revealed that the country is expecting 100 cruise ships to visit, which is a significant number. The ships will primarily dock at three locations - Alotau, Conflict Island, and Rabaul.
Mr Begley explained that his team had been working tirelessly to ensure that the country is prepared for the influx of tourists, especially with regards to Covid-19 protocols. "Two to three months ago, we flew down a small delegation to Australia and they worked through all the Covid protocols," he said. "It's an ongoing process, generally, large cruise ships come to anchor and leave."
He also mentioned that PNG Ports does not invest directly in cruise ship terminals. However, they invest in facilities to ensure that the ships can dock safely at the ports. "It's exciting, 100 cruise ships, that's a lot of tourists spending money here in PNG," he said.
Mr Begley emphasised the importance of everyone's responsibility in ensuring that the tourists have a safe and enjoyable experience in Papua New Guinea. "It's everyone's responsibility, the people on the streets selling goods, the police providing a safe environment for our tourists to enter the country," he said.
Lastly, he mentioned that PNG Ports had been working closely with the tourism industry and the Department of Health to ensure that the cruise companies are complying with the health protocols to enter the country safely. "We have worked very closely with tourism, and we have worked with the Department of Health to ensure that they are working closely with the major cruise companies so that when passengers arrive, they are fully vaccinated and covered all the health protocols to enter the country safely," he said.
In conclusion, Papua New Guinea is expecting an unprecedented number of cruise ships this year. PNG Ports Corporation, together with the tourism industry and the Department of Health, is working tirelessly to ensure that the country is prepared for the influx of tourists and that they have a safe and enjoyable experience. As Mr Begley puts it, "It's everyone's responsibility."