PNG needs more regional development to spread tourist dollar

7:18 am on 30 May 2016

Papua New Guinea's tourism industry says the country's regional hubs need to grow so that communities can benefit.

Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied

The Director-General for PNG's Office of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Marianna Ellingson, said her country is set to open its first 5-star hotel to help service a growing conference market, but she's concerned that the tourist dollar trickles down.

She said the government should partner with large hotels to run hospitality schools.

Ms Ellingson said the country must promote and help develop its tour operators, who are crucial to delivering tourists to communities.

"The marriage between product development and tour packages is also a very very important aspect and that's the sort of connection that you want to create that brings the tourist and the community together."

Marianna Ellingson says she's heartened by the Air Niugini flights from Brisbane to Alotau which are set to start in October and help market Milne Bay as a tourist hub.