MINISTER GIVES THUMBS UP FOR SPORTS TOURISM
by PNG Business News - May 18, 2023
Photo: Minister Leonard discussing importance of Sports Tourism during a meeting with Australian Rugby League senior executives
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Isi Henry Leonard is impressed about the initiatives taken by PNG Tourism and Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) to help promote Papua New Guinea as a tourist destination.
PNGTPA in a nutshell is pushing for sports tourism as one of its vehicles under the MICE segment of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. We have well developed sporting facilities and infrastructure such as Stadiums, Amenities, International Airport, Hotels, Restaurants etc., which are important facilities any destination would have. We are building back better and Sports Tourism is one important segment for PNGTPA to develop and promote.
Minister Leonard, accompanied by his first secretary Elijah Tapie were able to witness and be part of the various meetings held by PNGTPA and several high-profile rugby league executives including Norm Black, the Founding Managing Director of Trip-A-Deal and Australian National Rugby League CFO Shaun McMartin and NRL Vaughan Vitale (Government Partnership).
Minister Leonard after attending several meetings was impressed in the way Sports Tourism can take a new direction amidst PNGTPAs new Marketing Strategy. “I took the office during the COVID-19 period and it was a short but very challenging period at that time. When I returned, the Marape-Rosso Government had that confidence in me to continue on my role as the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture. We want to be innovative to see the growth of Tourism in PNG. Just by sitting through all these various meetings, I am encouraged and to be honest, I am happy to see how TPA is conducting its meetings. Such networking will enable and develop important partnerships with stakeholders abroad, especially in Australia where Australia is a major source market for PNG Tourism,” Minister Leonard said.
The sports tourism activities included meetings with various relevant partners in bringing an NRL premiership round to PNG in 2024 or 2025 and also making the official announcement of PNG’s rugby league icon and Melbourne Storms center Justin Olam as TPA’s brand ambassador.
“I believe Sports Tourism is a way forward and by looking at it, it is a great concept. My Ministry under the Marape-Rosso government will support this and ensure we fulfil the planned activities in order to unite both Australia and PNG through sports tourism,” The tourism minister said.
PNG Business News - March 01, 2021
Reforms Needed in the Tourism Industry: Minister
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PNG Business News - February 17, 2021
COVID Has Affected the Tourism Industry
The pandemic has indeed affected the tourism industry in the country.This was according to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Isi Henry Leonard who said that the travel restrictions has brought less international tourists to enter the country and has caused fewer tourism activities. However, he said that it is important to promote local tourism and activities in the country. “Our local tourism sector is also affected but not to that extent,” he said. “So we should now put more emphasis on local tourism by ensuring support in terms of travel and mobility within the country.”He added that a national plan was already in the works to align tourism in the country after the ill effects of the pandemic. “I think the plan should provide the way forward for tourism to rise above the Covid-19 challenges in the tourism sector,” he said. “We need to protect the tourism sector by devising possible solutions and strategies to ensure the sector continues to be promoted and maintained. So for me, I think we should emphasis more on local tourism by bringing programs and activities back to where the people are.” Once the plan is finalised, he said that they will seek the support of the National Executive Council.
PNG Business News - March 01, 2021
Tourism and Tourism-Related Businesses One of the Hardest Hit by COVID
With international borders shut down to contain the virus, PNG experienced a downfall in international travellers from January to June last year - 32,805 as compared with 75,556 of the same period n 2019, a drop of 57 per cent. In addition, tourism-related businesses and enterprises suffered major losses, and there is a dearth of tourists visiting shopping malls and recreational parks In an assessment survey conducted last September and October, tourism stakeholders and tourism product owners revealed interesting responses.According to the chief executive officer of the Port Moresby Nature Park, park visits fell from 70,346 visitors between March and August 2019 to 42,435 over the same period in 2020, a drop of 40 per cent. There were also a lot of cancellations of programs and projects for the parks. Also suffered was the souvenir shop of the park as there were no tourists anymore. However, some good samaritans also helped the park such as the Sir Brian Bell Foundation and the British High Commission paying entrance fees for their students and teachers. In addition, the earnings of local artisans were disrupted too.The hotel industry was another one of those hardest hit. Facing closure were the Ela Beach Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express because there were no tourists or visitors. Rates for room occupancy also dropped. But operations started picking up last quarter of 2020, especially with the food and beverages at the hotel. Lodges also faced some massive challenges. Aside from the airlines, travel agents such as PNG Explorers International, Mix Travel Limited also faced some losses and huge cancellations. Others such as dry cleaning, rental cars, barbershops, and florists all lacked customers.Local arts and crafts vendors also struggled.While it is believed that international travels boost the economy, domestic tourism can also contribute a lot. It is, therefore, everyone’s business to keep tourism alive in PNG.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas
Photo: PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas Prior to the Korean-Pacific Islands Leaders (Kor-Pic) Meeting, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape joined other PIC Leaders for a breakfast caucus Chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown, to discuss the agenda and a common position on shared development issues. Prime Minister Marape said climate variation, being the perennial issue including sourcing appropriate development assistance from the Korean Government was high on the agenda. He said the encouragement during the caucus was for all PIC Leaders to discuss their developmental challenges and put forward their ideas on how Korean Development assistance could complement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. Following this caucus, Prime Minister Marape, met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Their discussions were centered around progress of the proposed Bilateral Security Treaty (BST), the recently concluded Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Visa issues and the PNG NRL Bid. On the BST, Prime Minister Marape mentioned that it was work in progress and required the PNG side to consult our domestic processes and sovereign laws in relation to certain wordings and provisions. He also conveyed his apologies to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the delay in formalising this proposed Treaty with Australia. For the DCA with the US, Prime Minister Marape informed that it was centered around improving the PNGDF's capabilities and interoperability including protecting our frontiers and sovereignty. He said it was non-discriminatory and PNG was open to entering into similar arrangements with its bilateral partners. “In fact, the DCA would also complement domestic law enforcement,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The Ship Rider Agreement on the other hand was also vital in combating illegal fishing and transnational crimes.” For Visa issues, Deputy Prime Minister Marles informed that the current Australian Government was fully aware of the situation and following the Ministerial Forum in February this year in Canberra, had established a Joint Ministerial Team to work on bringing the Australian visa processing facility back on shore to PNG. Prime Minister Marape in his response said that all processes from both sides had to be attended to in order for smooth facilitation and for citizens and businesses to continue without much hindrance now and heading into 2050 when PNG celebrates 50 years of nationhood. On Papua New Guinea’s NRL Bid, Prime Minister Marape explained that PNG was still very keen as rugby league was a major unifying factor, bringing our 800 tribes together as one people. In closing Prime Minister Marape assured Deputy Prime Minister Marles that PNG in no way would compromise its excellent existing bilateral relations with Australia and further stressed that PNG was capable of managing its sovereign affairs on its terms, systems and processes.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
ADB Helps Launch Vocational Education Project in PNG
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PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG Forges an Innovation-fueled Partnership with South Korea in Digital Transformation
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