China Ready Workshop: Unlocking PNG’s Tourism Potential

By: Roselyn Erehe April 29, 2024

More than 60 Participants of the China Ready Workshop after being certified at APEC House, Port Moresby. - image provided by TPA PR

Papua New Guinea Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard recently welcomed distinguished guests from China, PNG, and stakeholders for the first China Ready Workshop held on the 25th April at APEC House-Port Moresby.

“Your presence here signifies our vision for a vibrant future in tourism and business between Port Moresby-PNG and China,” Minister Leonard said in his opening remarks.

China Ready is a global accreditation system that certifies a product or service that can be trusted by a Chinese consumer. This internationally recognized system is being rolled out in PNG’s capital among affiliated members of the tourism industry.

PNG is the 51st country across six continents to adopt this program, representing 25 percent of global destinations.

The workshop is organized by the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) and the National Capital District (NCD) Governor’s Office in close partnership with the Government of China.

It is an exclusive event, initiated to prepare Port Moresby’s tourism industry and its stakeholders for the opportunities the Chinese market offers.

The workshop included the latest market updates, insights into the post-COVID-19 Chinese traveler, effective strategies to take on the fast-evolving Chinese market, and tap into its vast potential. Areas ranging from transportation and accommodation to entertainment and services highlight the diverse opportunities awaiting the city, as the government and stakeholders prepare to welcome Chinese tourists.

Participants gained valuable knowledge on post-COVID Chinese tourist demographers, behavioral changes, the rising trend of Free Independent Travellers, effective communication strategies with Chinese partners, destination selection criteria, target strategies for Chinese travellers, and marketing PNG’s unique culture and natural beauty.

Participants in the workshop included:

  • Government officials from tourism departments and ministries
  • Cultural organizations and heritage sites representatives
  • Local tourist boards and associations
  • Hotels and accommodation representatives
  • Tour operators and travel agencies
  • Transportation providers (airlines, railways, bus companies)
  • Restaurant and food services businesses
  • Attractions and touristic sites management
  • Retailers and souvenir shops
  • Tourist guides
  • Emergency services and healthcare providers
  • Agencies for safety and security briefing
  • Marketing and public relations professionals for destination promotion
  • Hospitality training institutes and professionals for service improvement.

In his speech, Hon. Leonard said: “We will work closely with our stakeholders to enhance Port Moresby’s image, correct misconceptions, and strengthen our ties with Guangdong Province.”

“It is time that PNG joins other Pacific nations that have benefited through this China Ready approach. it is evident in their success stories of countries like Samoa, which has experienced significant increase in Chinese visitation numbers and tourism growth after adopting the China Ready principles. Let us seize this opportunity to build strong partnerships, enhance our city’s appeal, and pave the way for sustainable growth and mutual prosperity.”

Dr Marcus Lee, CEO of China Travel Online and the facilitator of the China Ready workshop, Mr. Chen Jiliang, Counsellor Deputy Head of Mission, Chinese Embassy, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard, Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture, NCDC Governor, Hon. Powes Parkop, PNGTPA Deputy Board Chairman, Andrew Abel and PNGTPA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eric Mossman Uvovo during the China Ready workshop at the APEC Haus in Port Moresby. -image provided by TPA PR 


More than 60 participants got certified, including air service providers, car rental companies, clothing retail outlets, and received their certificates after completing the China Ready workshop.

NCD Governor Hon. Powes Parkop reiterated the significance of making Port Moresby and PNG China Ready “to tap into and harness this potential of tourism.”

“The National Government through the Minister adopted the strategic plan and now it’s up to all of us to roll the strategy out. We must recognize and understand that, Tourism is a sleeping giant,” he said.

Hon. Powes emphasized the products of tourism that PNG can offer. Port Moresby, as the nation’s capital, is a hub of more than a thousand tribes and cultures, a diverse country that is rich with language. PNG owns one-third of the world’s rainforest, which is a tourist product in itself, he added.

The China Ready Workshop follows the recent establishment of direct flights from Guangzhou, China to Port Moresby by China Southern Airlines, fueling the expected increase in tourism in the coming months. 

PNGTPA’s CEO Mr. Eric Mossman Uvovo described the initiative as a historical milestone for the country, “where we position ourselves to welcome one of the biggest economies in the world in terms of tourism. The workshop was a pivotal moment for stakeholders and all of us to be ready for the outbound Chinese Market.”

The China Ready Program was established in 2002 and is the largest of its kind, ensuring destinations and service providers meet Chinese hospitality standards. It is operated by CBISN and exclusively issued by the China Outbound Tourism Research Academy (COTA). The program is endorsed by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Dr. Marcus Lee, CEO of China Travel Online and facilitator for the China Ready workshop, provided insights into the program's objectives.

"Our primary objective is to enable Papua New Guinea to tap into the vast potential of the Chinese market. We've completed our audit, and the essence of the China Ready concept is to guide destinations and stakeholders on welcoming Chinese tourists. More importantly, it's about delivering services and products that meet Chinese standards," said Lee.

Lee encouraged the government to work closely with PNGTPA to make PNG China Ready. “I urge all stakeholders, including the government and PNGTPA, to implement the Insights gained to make Port Moresby and PNG truly China Ready,” he said.

Lee is CEO of China Travel Online, a leading China Outbound Travel portal on the China-wide web with over 100 destinations listed. The group consists of Technology, Media, and MICE, with officers across 10 countries in Asia and China. The portal reach 80% of the Chinese outbound travel trade.

He sits on board as Chairman of China SME Business Owners Association (ICIF) with 11,000 corporate members. Marcus speak 6 Chinese languages and is the author of the international bestseller “How to Outsmart China” featured by CNN, China Daily and Bloomberg.

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