A proposed new national tourism plan
BY BARNEY ORERE
The Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority aims to develop the National Tourism Plan 2021-2025 and there is political will for the plan to come to fruition.
Under his tenure, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Isi Henry Leonard, wants to ensure that legislative reforms are undertaken to move the industry forward into the new era.
The minister said he would introduce the reforms despite the adverse effects of COVID-19 on global tourism.
He gave this assurance to industry stakeholders during a three-day workshop hosted by the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) in 2021 at APEC Haus, Port Moresby.
The Minister opened the meeting by outlining his vision for tourism 2020 and beyond “as a key economic sector with significant growth potential; manage and implement policies and plans that require a holistic approach due to the strong cross-sectoral nature of the industry.
The objective of this validation workshop focused on achieving:
1. A consolidated visionary plan determined by all relevant stakeholders for the growth of tourism over the next five years as a key economic sector for the country;
2. Use feedback to refine the draft National Sustainable Tourism Policy and consider amendments to the TPA Act 1993 for proper alignment and effective implementation of the National Tourism Plan 2021-2025
It took place from Wednesday January 20 to Friday January 22 and brought together more than 100 stakeholders from all over the country, mainly from the private and public sector; tour operators, resource owners, provincial tourism officers, community groups, major tourism and hospitality organizations in PNG, and key government sector representatives.
The validation exercise consisted of modifying, aligning and integrating the feedback collected during the regional stakeholder consultation workshops organized by TPA in 2019.
This workshop was also expected to facilitate thematic discussions on alignment with the government’s vision and priorities on developing tourism as a key economic sector.
The government is striving to advance the tourism sector through the Medium Term Development Plan III; the importance of (which is) driving an industry that is inclusive for all and can be sustained for years to come.
Tourism Promotion Authority Director General Eric Mossman Uvovo told the workshop that tourism has been identified as a key economic sector with significant potential but requires a holistic approach due to its strong cross-sectoral nature.
The validation workshop greatly refined the design of the new National Tourism Plan to enable it to be inclusive, realistic and achievable at all levels of society, critically understanding and capturing the voices of all supply chain within the tourism industry, a press release said. the TPA has just been released.
Substantive discussions shared by tourism industry stakeholders reiterated the importance of having improved standards in regulation, licensing and pricing, safety and security, tax incentives, participation community, product development, education,
Training and awareness, digital inclusion, infrastructure, communication, strengthening partnerships and creating enabling environments for tourism in PNG to flourish in order to compete globally by offering PNG as a desired tourist destination.
The preparation of the new National Integrated Tourism Plan 2021-2025 would be subject to further liaison and consultation with relevant government agencies, industry and development partners to manifest the aspirations of the tourism sector to revive amid the global pandemic over the next five years. with the aim of “building back better”.
PNGTPA strongly believes that tourism is everyone’s business, therefore the authority encourages all stakeholders involved in the industry to participate in surveys and interviews to effectively contribute to this initiative that will benefit the people of PNG. .
Be on the lookout for additional consultations that the PNGTPA may attempt, as there appears to be a sustained effort to consult widely in order to come up with a solid plan.
You can see this when the 2021 validation workshop was to take stock of the results of the 2019 regional consultation workshops. There is therefore work in progress in this exercise to lead to the National Tourism Plan for the next five years.
The current government has been in power for barely a year, but given its record to date in passing new laws, the Minister’s confidence is a big boost for the industry.
He might even be hard at work already, judging by the fact that he spoke in January and that the PNGTPA just released the statement.
The government uses politics to provide goods and services.
One observation about this government is that they are putting things in place strategically with the hope of coming back and this is something citizens need to understand and especially those in the tourism industry.
If tourism is to be transformed into a holistic thing, that means everyone has to work together from the start for the plan to materialize and bear fruit.
This is how sustainability should generally work.
Continuity is important for government policies to work over the long term.
Visions can only work with long-range plans that are continuously executed.