PNG "lagging" in tourism benefits

9:18 am on 17 December 2015

Figures released by the World Travel and Tourism Council show Papua New Guinea is lagging in reaping the economic benefits the tourism industry can provide.

The deputy governor of the Bank of PNG Benny Popoitai made the revelations in a speech at the opening of new tourism accomodation in Madang.

Of the 184 countries surveyed for the report, PNG was ranked last in terms of the economic benefits.

Market in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

Market in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Mr Popoitai said in PNG during 2014, tourism's direct contribution to GDP was less than one per cent and its total contribution accounted for just 2.1 per cent, compared to the global verage of 3.1 per cent direct and 9.8% including indirect contributions.

He said that similarly tourism sector employment represented only 0.5 per cent of the total and when adding indirect effects, it generated only 1.8 per cent of the total employment - compared to 3.6% and 9.4% globally.

PNG holds only 10 per cent of the regional tourism market share by contrast to Fiji which holds an impressive 41 per cent and this is "despite it being as big as Milne Bay".

The bank official said that the statistics demonstrate that PNG had a lot to learn from Fiji before tourism can become a catalyst for growth in the country.