30 Aug 2005

PNG tourism to open office in Australia

8:21 am on 30 August 2005

Papua New Guinea will be opening its first tourism destination market office in Australia after the Government gave more than US$600,000 to the Tourism Promotion Authority.

The Post Courier reports the Culture and Tourism Minister David Basua made the announcement at the weekend and said the opening of the office would go a long way in achieving tangible results.

Mr Basua says the office would be used to sell PNG overseas as a desired tourism destination.

He says despite Australia's close proximity and millions of Australians travelling every year, the sad fact is that only a minority actually visit PNG.

Mr Basua says by opening the office next month in Sydney, it hoped to see solid performance over the coming years in terms of increasing outbound tourist traffic from Australia to Papua New Guinea.

The minister says an average of 30,000 Australians had visited PNG since 2002, with the numbers increasing every year - including an expected increase to 40,000 this year.

He says Australia is PNG's primary source market and accounts for 50 per cent of the total international visitor arrivals.