7 Sep 2010

PNG Tourism criticises travel alerts

1:11 pm on 7 September 2010

Papua New Guinea's tourism industry is calling on foreign nations to be more careful when they issue travel alerts about PNG.

In July, a businessman was shot dead at Port Moresby's Jackson's Airport, prompting Japan to issue an alert which led to mass cancellations, with organised Japanese tour groups dropping their bookings.

But the PNG Tourism Association chief executive, Peter Vincent, says the incident at the airport was isolated.

He is calling on Japan and other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, to consider the impact alerts have on their small but growing visitor industry.

"We want them to be as reasonable as possible. We are not saying there are no problems. We admit there are problems, but we are doing all we can, as stakeholders, to try and improve the situation. So while we are doing that we want foreign governments to really appreciate the efforts that are being taken now to try and improve the situation. Particularly for our fledgling tourism industry - as soon as your get a couple of reports like that it just destroys the efforts we have put in over the past couple of years."