PNG Tourism Promotion Authority launches Economic Study on the Impact of Cruise Tourism
12 October 2020
PNG’s active engagement in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum has been sector lead in recent years with the vision to address sector priority areas on the regional level. PNGTPA, through its involvement in the APEC Tourism Working Group was able to garner support from the other 20 APEC member economies to drive the development of the APEC Economic Study on the Impact of Cruise Tourism: Fostering MSME Growth and Creating Sustainable Communities.
Prior to the onset of covid-19, global cruise tourism was one of the strongest tourism sectors, registering a growth rate of 5.4% since 2009 with 30 million people expected to cruise globally in 2019.
PNGTPA developed the PNG Cruise Strategy in 2009 that laid out the foundation of what would become an evolution of the PNG cruise sector. PNG had always enjoyed the arrival of small expedition cruises, itineraries included island or up-river visit’s with shore excursions.
In 2014, PNG saw the inaugural visit of the Carnival Australia, P&O Cruise Line, Pacific Dawn dock in Alotau, Milne Bay and then sail into Rabaul. The entry of large capacity passengers’ ships is attributed to the strong cross-sectoral engagement between government agencies PNG Ports, NMSA, PNG ICSA, NAQIA, PNG Customs and PNGTPA.
Since then, PNG cruise numbers have increased significantly from 4,000 in 2007 to 19,123 cruise arrivals in 2016. In 2019 PNG recorded its highest cruise arrivals with 51,417, cruise visitors experienced Milne Bay, East New Britain, East Sepik, Morobe, West New Britain, AROB, Oro Province and NCD.
Alotau, the first port of call for PNG, was featured in this study. A wide range of stakeholders from both public and private sector contributed towards the findings of this study through the consultation workshop hosted in Alotau, March 2019. Given that each cruise destination has different facilities and economic attributes that determine the tourism size, scale and overall economic benefits, this study provides an assessment of the destination type, value proposition and frequency, nature and quantum of passenger and crew expenditure.
Milne Bay Province is the most visited provinces in the country, outside of Port Moresby. In 2018 the province registered a total of 34, 961 international visitors, 33,616 of which were cruise visitors. The economic impact study shows that 60% of MSME’s actively engaged in tourism generate most of their revenue from cruise tourism activities whilst 68% of respondents noted that employment opportunities increased significantly to service cruise tourism in the province. Crime, influence of foreign culture, congestion were a number of negative impacts discussed in the study.
To download the study please visit https://www.apec.org/Publications/2020/08/APEC-Economic-Study-on-the-Impact-of-Cruise-Tourism or contact the Policy and Planning Division on email: [email protected]