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Papua New Guinea urges Aussie tourists to keep visiting

September 24, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

The Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) together with operators throughout the tourism and trekking industry are urging Australians not to give up on PNG as a holiday destination, in the wake of the recent tragic incident on the Black Cat Track.

The tourism industry in PNG has spent recent years working toward developing infrastructure in different parts of the country and educating local business people on how they can benefit from tourists, and there is concern that the entire country and its people will be tarred by this isolated attack.

PNG TPA believe there is a good common knowledge amongst Australians that Kokoda, the country’s most popular and well established track, has appropriate management agreements and safety measures in place for trekkers.

Peter Miller, director of trekking company No Roads Expeditions, said the popular Kokoda Track is more than 200kms from the Black Cat Track and is managed entirely differently.

“While our customers are aware of the incident on the Black Cat Track, it appears they understand that Kokoda is much better equipped to provide trekker safety and there is no need to cancel plans to travel to PNG,” Mr Miller said.

“No Roads Expeditions has had 14 bookings for Kokoda since last week and we are keen to remind Australian trekkers of the importance of their business to local communities.”

Peter Vincent, CEO of PNGTPA, said the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) works toward ensuring the local communities along Kokoda are benefiting from the tourist dollar and that there are processes in place to ensure trekking companies are abiding by the rules and working in a positive way with local people.

“KTA charge a trekking fee to all operators and this money goes toward health, education and micro business development in the Kokoda communities which helps build a sustainable tourism industry for them,” Mr Vincent said.

“Trekking is so important to the people of PNG in these areas and trekking in our country is generally a very rewarding and positive experience for Australians who take on the challenge.”

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