May 23, 2019

Tourism on the rise in Papua New Guinea

Tourism on the rise in Papua New Guinea

New research shows there were almost 95,000 visitors arriving by air in Papua New Guinea, PNG, in 2018, who generated more than PGK $690 million (USD$205 million) of spending flowing into the country’s economy.

These air arrivals were part of almost 195,000 international visitors to PNG in 2018, with the overall figure including people arriving by cruise ships as well as those who arrived in the country for short and long-term employment.

The International Visitor Survey (IVS) undertaken by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Papua New Guinea Tourism Association and the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, shows that visitors arriving by air for tourism, business and to visit friends and relatives increased by ten percent from 2017. The biggest spending by those 95,000 visitors, was for accommodation, airfares, and food and drinks.

The research shows that holiday visitors are the biggest spenders, staying an average of 10 nights and spending more than USD$2,500 per person per trip. While they only made up 33 percent of total visitors in 2018, this has increased from 26 percent of total visitors in 2017. Business travelers are still the largest group of visitors, making up 50 percent of people arriving by air in PNG. They stay about nine nights in the country, spending about USD$2,170 per person per trip.

“The survey shows the potential for Papua New Guinea to grow its tourism market, with a seven percent increase in holiday makers arriving by air in 2018, compared to the previous year,” said IFC’s Resident Representative for Papua New Guinea, John Vivian. “While the research shows visitors nominated safety and security as well as infrastructure as key areas for improvement, it’s significant that over 90 percent of people said they would return to the country.”

Overall the research shows PNG remains heavily reliant on the Australian market for visitors, with Australians accounting for just over half of all the visitors. Australians are predominately visiting the key tourism sites in the Central and Northern Province with keen interest in historical and adventure tourism.

“Tourism cuts across all sectors and needs concerted efforts of relevant sector agencies to address issues such as law and order and infrastructure developments,” said PNG Tourism Promotion Authority Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Agus. “PNG TPA’s main focus continues to be on marketing and promoting the country as well as scoping and developing international standard tourism products.”

“Every Papua New Guinean citizen is also encouraged to embrace the importance of tourism by doing their bit to help lift the image and profile of the country as this responsibility does not revolve around the PNG TPA alone,” Agus said. 

The research points to increasing interest by visitors to PNG in travel to the country’s provinces. Outside of Port Moresby, Central Province, Morobe and Northern Province received the most visitors. There was a 25 percent rise in the number of visitors to Milne Bay and a 17 percent increase in visitors to East New Britain, both areas designated as future key tourism destinations, bringing in millions of dollars to those local economies.

The 2018 IVS also explored niche market tourism for the first time. Adventure and cultural tourists were the largest niche markets, bringing in about 20 percent of all holiday visitors While bird-watching and scuba diving brought in only four percent and 12 percent of holiday tourists in 2018, the high levels of spending by those tourists per trip make them important high yield tourism markets.

IFC’s Papua New Guinea Tourism Demand Assessment study, published last year, highlighted the importance of PNG growing its tourism by developing niche markets such as cultural, adventure and historical tourism.

With travel and tourism key drivers of economic growth, accounting for almost one tenth of global GDP,

IFC’s tourism work in PNG is focused on supporting the development of tourism business, improving tourism-related conditions, and helping attract investment.  IFC is also working with the World Bank to improve tourism services in the targeted destinations of East New Britain and Milne Bay.

Dabaris naming rights sponsors terminated

Dabaris naming rights sponsors terminated

PNGRFL Media Release

The Papua New National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) has confirmed the termination of Vitis Industries as naming Rights sponsors of Central Dabaris.

PNGNRLC Chairman Adrian Chow confirmed this in a statement a short time ago following a Board meeting earlier this week.

Chow said a letter was sent to Dabaris Chairman Keith Iduhu yesterday (Wednesday) advising him of the PNGNRLC Board’s decision on Tuesday (May 21)that Vitis Industries sponsorship under their brand ‘Fortuna Fresh’ is terminated with effect immediately.


“The Dabaris Board wrote to us on May 9, 2019 advising of Vitis withdrawal of sponsorship,” Chow said. “Some of my Board members met with the Dabaris Board and their sponsor to hear each party’s views and grievances in mediation process that meeting concluded without any resolution,” he said.

He said following this meeting, there was publications on social media by Vitis in associating it’s alcohol brand with the franchise.

“During the bid process, PNGNRLC explained to representatives of Central Dabaris and Vitis Industries the requirements relating to product category branding exclusivity to current PNGNRLC Platinum Sponsor, and conditions relating to same were set out in the Participation Agreement,” Chow said.

He added that Vitis Industries has not signed a sponsorship agreement with Central Dabaris.

“Therefore our view is that any verbal agreement or understanding was terminated in writing by the Central Dabaris Board on May 9, 2019,” he said. “And we will go with that decision.”

Chow said as a consequence, all branding of “Fortuna Fresh” will be removed from the playing uniforms before Round 8 is played on Sunday May 26, 2019.

He said Vitis Industries should not hold itself out as being associated with the PNGNRLC managed Digicel Cup competition in future.

“I have requested the Dabaris Chairman to submit a report by June 7, 2019 on any new sponsors, evidence of financial resources and liabilities and a budget in the short term.

Chow has directed PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina to meet with the Dabaris Management to assist with player welfare issues.

“It is our job to manage a competition that is played by 12 teams.,” Chow said “It is our job to ensure a safe and competitive environment for all teams to compete in and we will do anything within our power to ensure that happens week in week out.

“We expect the Central Dabaris to sort their in-house issue and come out in full strength and compete on Sunday and the rest of the season,” Chow said.

He urged all Franchises and their sponsors to settle any disagreements internally.

“Any disagreements and differences must be sorted out internally. When it gets out in public, this brings the game and competition into dispute.

May 20, 2019

PNG's Papua LNG heats up

PNG's Papua LNG heats up

The signing of the K43 billion (US$12 billion) Papua LNG project has heated up again with former finance minister James Marape and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill locked in a face-off.

Marape has accused O’Neill of making inappropriate decisions to facilitate the signing of the multi-billion-kina deal while the latter retorted that Government decision papers had been reviewed and agreed to by all stakeholders, including the Gulf government.

It now appears that the Papua LNG project is set to be the fiery issue in the run-up to the May 28 resumption of the Parliament session.

And the Parliamentary private business committee has yet to meet and decide whether to allow the vote of no confidence motion submitted by the opposition.

Marape, the Tari-Pori MP,accused O’Neill of side-tracking government decision papers and consensus decision processes.

“This forced me to resign as minister,” he said.

“Important industry and treasury papers relating to Papua LNG were swept aside to pave the way for the agreement signing.

“We cannot run a country this way in ignoring important project papers.

“These are the reasons why some of us (MPs and Cabinet members) shifted.

“Papua New Guinea has a substantial resource base in the mining, oil and gas, fisheries, logging and the agriculture but our citizens are not benefitting.

“Something is wrong somewhere when the government is not unlocking those resources for our people.
“We have a government that wants to save the interests of corporate giants and allowing contracts to be given to a few corporate organisations and foreigners.”

However, O’Neill retorted: “All documents from both parties (the state negotiation team and the Treasury) were reviewed line by line and agreed to by all stakeholders, including the Gulf government.

“All fiscal terms were agreed to by the Treasury.

“He (Marape) is just finding excuses because this is a better deal than the one Marape and National Alliance Government did for the first LNG project … of higher benefits.”

Marape said the alternative government wanted to get the nation back on track, giving economic independence to the people. “We achieved Independence 44 years ago by our fathers, like Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti,” he said.

“Irrespective of which party they come from, they talked about education, health infrastructure, and law and order.

“What are those if we don’t develop our economic base? My view is simple. Expand the economic base by empowering our people. Make sure our landowners and provincial governments are empowered to enable them to participate in business.

“We need to have greater local content and we need to empower greater business participation by our people,” he said.