Tourism can be a billion kina industry by 2010, says Abel
The National [ April 18, 2008 | Read Article Online ]
By SINCLAIRE SOLOMON
TOURISM should be worth K1.1 billion in revenue terms to Papua New Guinea by 2010, Culture and Tourism Minister Charles Abel has told Parliament.
And the revenue should grow to K1.78 billion by 2015, Mr Abel said in his maiden speech last week.
Under the Master Tourism Plan developed by Tourism Promotion Authority the increases should provide an additional 4,800 jobs by 2010 and 13,000 jobs by 2015.
Minister Abel said he plans to table the master plan during the current Parliament session.
He said the government’s overall Tourism Policy was to develop in line with the agencies under his ministry and with other relevant government agencies, and the tourism sector,
“The 10 year Master Plan developed by Tourism Promotion Authority has a vision of PNG as a globally recognised destination that celebrates, protects and enhances its unique cultural heritage and natural environment,” he told Parliament.
“It is my task as Minister of Culture and Tourism to ensure a clear pronouncement of government policy and its translation through focused and competent boards and management at agency level working in a co-ordinated fashion through a good master plan to ultimately deliver economic and social development to our people that is sustainable and protects the culture and environment.”
He said the master plan highlights some required structural changes to the governing framework for the industry such as the formation of a policy secretariat, “and I am taking the opportunity to review the general policy in relation to Culture and Tourism in order to produce an overarching policy that speaks of the interrelatedness of our Culture, the environment and tourism.”
Mr Abel said the review would also look at the overall structure of the Ministry and subordinate agencies.
“This ministry must be prepared for the responsibility over the next ten years for managing the transformation of tourism into a major economic pillar.
“As with many aspects of the Governments economic plan, tourism faces some key structural impediments such as the crime rate, real and perceived; our transport sector, airline industry in particular; and generally high cost structure in relative terms to other Pacific destinations.”