Papua New Guinea keen to discuss niche tourism with operators at ITB Asia
The release of a new 2022 – 2026 tourism master plan for Papua New Guinea gives an opportunity for the country to look for new markets during the show.
Living culture, arts, traditions, tribes, languages, and history as well as a pristine nature made of thousands of kilometres of beaches, tropical reefs, mountains and coastal lowlands, home to an exceptional fauna and flora biodiversity. Papua New Guinea has unparalleled potential for sustainable development of its tourism sector. As PNG’s tourism sector remains small by international standards with the sector contributing 1.4 % of the total economy, the government has recently released its new Tourism Sector Development Plan (TSDP) 2022 – 2026.
A comprehensive sector-wide approach in planning is deployed and monitored by the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA). Although tourism development will be led by the private sector, the government will provide the necessary policy framework to steer the sector’s development and invest directly on creating an environment conducive for tourism growth.
The Master Plan identifies products beyond PNG’s most famous destination, the iconic Kokoda Trail, mostly targeting the Australian and New Zealand market. Identified niche markets target activities such as diving, surfing, bird watching, historical tourism, cultural tourism, and soft adventure.
To realize the high growth potential in these segments by 2027, PNG needs to spend over US$78 million for investment in marketing, to develop products for overseas travellers, create new products and develop tourism infrastructure. As the masterplan evaluates, PNG can attract at most 87,000 additional tourists and generate additional US$ 219 million tourist dollars by the end of 2027.
If both the public and private sector substantially increase their marketing and promotion efforts, tourism dollars should potentially reach the US$4 billion by 2030. This would represent up to two times the total export value of all PNG’s agricultural commodity products. And turn tourism into the new source of wealth for locals.