The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is attending Papua New Guinea’s biggest tourism and trade expo in Port Moresby this week.
Held yearly, Lukim PNG Nau is steered by the Papua New Guinea Tourism Industry Association (PNGTIA), in partnership with the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA).
This year the event will host more than 40 local tourism operators and about 30 international travel agents or buyers, who meet and share tourism information on a scheduled appointment basis.
SPTO will use the opportunity to raise awareness of the tourism development and marketing services it offers to its private sector members and conduct a private sector membership drive for the local operators.
PNGTPA also organised a Tourism Marketing Workshop and the National Tourism Conference this past week, ahead of Lukim PNG Nau. SPTO Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocker delivered presentations at both forums, providing an update on regional perspectives on tourism and PNG’s performance in regional tourism.
“Papua New Guinea’s visitor arrivals have gradually increased over the last five years, indicative of strong efforts at the national level to strengthen the country’s profile in its target markets,” said Cocker. “Clearly, national events like Lukim PNG now are an excellent platform to further promote the visibility of this vibrant destination and its diverse tourism products”.
SPTO will also use the opportunity to promote its South Pacific Specialist Programme to the visiting travel agents.
The programme is an accredited online training programme that helps international travel agents to learn about and sell the Pacific island destinations with greater confidence.
The tourism industry in Papua New Guinea is a growing one. Coming up in 2018, Papua New Guinea will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, with some 20,000 delegates in attendance.
This poses some significant challenges in terms of infrastructure and training of manpower and SPTO hopes to work closely with Papua New Guinea’s national tourism office to address these areas.
Based in Suva, SPTO works with 16 Pacific island countries to market and develop tourism in South Pacific region.