COVID Hurt Tourism in a Big Way
The pandemic has caused big losses, including the revenue loss of around K70 million due to the closure of international borders.
According to the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Walter Schnaubelt, the tourism industry has been affected in a huge way. He added that the government had been putting capital into small-and-medium enterprises (SME) to weather these losses.
“About K69.91 million (was the loss recorded by) 43 of the 60 major tourism business operations in PNG,” he said. “Tourism is the fastest-growing sector in terms of generating revenue, providing employment.”
The pandemic caused the cancellation of 90.7 per cent of tourist bookings and 1,000 people that lost jobs.
“The international business arrivals in the first nine months of 2020 dropped by 71 per cent,” he said. “This is about 8,500 international arrivals to the country this year compared to over 120,000 we saw in the same period in 2019. Arrivals from our major source markets around the world have seen double-digit drops in the same period. We relied heavily on international visitor arrivals to bring in much-needed foreign currency to boost our economy.”
To promote tourism in the country, Schnaubelt said that the focus would now be domestic first. “PNG TPA has increase promotion and awareness programme to educate Papuan New Guineans to appreciate the beauty and diversity of our country to promote local tourism,” he said.