Covid-19 affecting tourism
There are no tourists in Papua New Guinea this year for the country’s Independence celebration due to the Covid-19, according to two hotels in Port Moresby.
Port Moresby’s Airways Hotel general manager Sushil Gordon is hoping for the Covid-19 situation to end as it had greatly affected the tourism industry globally.
“I sincerely hope that this Covid-19 finishes soon so that we can move with the new normal along with the rest of the world, a lot of people are doing it tough,” he said.
Gordon said the number of guests had dropped compared to this time last year.
“It’s very low. The number of guests from overseas and domestically has fallen about 70 per cent to 80 per cent compared to last year.
“Also, the hotel rate per room also has taken a dip due to oversupply of rooms in the market.”
There are 147 rooms at Airways Hotel.
“For us, there are no tourists at all, only local guests coming for a great buffet in Vue,” he said.
“The international visitors are virtually nil.
“Recently we are seeing a gradual return of local guests in our food and beverage outlets but the rooms remain very soft.”
Meanwhile, The Stanley Hotel and Suites general manager Geoff Haigh, in Port Moresby, said there was nothing happening this year.
“Occupancy rates are half of last year, tourism numbers have not improved since the state of emergency,” he said.
The hotel has 408 rooms.
Director of the Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker said some countries had provided novel approaches to stimulate key industries and employment, such as the tourism and hospitality industry, even while global tourism remained restrained.
“For example, the UK’s subsidisation of restaurant meals to encourage a return to these, even while physical distancing must still apply,” he said.
“PNG has neither the capacity nor the funds for such direct interventions.
“But it can do much more to bring down the costs of key infrastructure and services.”