PNG Tourism Promotion Authority develops 'Safe Traveler PNG' initiative for the tourism industry to build back stronger.
7 June 2021
Since the declaration of the global health pandemic in March 2020 and the emergence of the Novel Coronavirus within our Papua New Guinea borders, the heightened public health measures and border restrictions have had a severe effect on an economic sector that relies heavily on cross-border activities - the Tourism sector.
The Tourism sector is cross-cutting in nature, described as a multifaceted, evolving industry, many have been affected; hoteliers, accommodation owners, tour operators, artisans, tour guides, museums, provincial tourism offices, host communities have all lost a significantly.
According to the COVID-19 business survey conducted by PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) in April 2020, it was estimated that PGK67.9 million kina was lost in booking cancellation’s, pre-paid trade services and general revenue; over 1,209 staff had been laid off, and; more than 90% of tour bookings had been canceled. The numerous lock-downs have abruptly halted business operations and the consequences have become detrimental.
The PNGTPA, in its endeavor to guide the industry to build back stronger has developed the Safe Traveler PNG initiative for the tourism industry. The Safe Traveler PNG initiative will provide industry operators and service providers simplified guidelines of health and safety protocols and best practices on how to implement these safety protocols into the different types of businesses, regardless of whether an individual tour guide or an established tour company with facilities, these guidelines will cater to all.
Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Eric Mossman Uvovo thanked the SOE Controller’s Office and the Department of Health for their support and endorsement of these guidelines, “Following the endorsement of these guidelines by our PNGTPA Board, it was vital endorsement be sought also from the SOE Controller and Department of Health as these guidelines were basically a sectoral approach towards the implementation of Niupela Pasin”.
The Safe Traveler Campaign will roll out in four phases:
“Our industry has been hit hard by this pandemic; industry operators are on the brink of closing operations. Domestic tourism is the way forward for the next 2-5 years to recover and stabilize this industry. The Safe Traveler initiative will ensure operators around the country implement health and safety protocols and are certified as “Safe” operators, giving the traveler assurance that they are well taken care of and that pathways are identified should a COVID-19 threat arise during their stay,” said Mr. Uvovo.
Tourism industry operators, association member’s, accommodation owners and service providers are encouraged to reach out to PNGTPA should they have any queries in regards to this program. This program will be voluntary and will be available to all at no cost.
Questions or queries can be forwarded to email: [email protected] or phone: Digicel: 7385 9706, Bmobile: 7558 2168, Landline: 3200211
Above: Safe Traveler awareness workshop with Sandaun Province tourism industry, facilitated by TPA Director Policy and Planning Ingrid Kuman,
Above: TPA Policy and Planning Officer Mary Kanawi conducting Safe Traveler awareness in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Above: Provincial Coordination and Product Development Officer Clare Kolma conducting Safe Traveler awareness in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.