Safe Traveler PNG Guidelines Coordination

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Safe Traveler PNG Guidelines Coordination

The emergence of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) in late 2019 and later declared as a global pandemic in March 2020 has shifted the economic landscape of the world. Notably, the tourism and transport sector have been the hardest hit economic sectors amongst others.

Since the elevated risk of novel corona virus, the global tourism industry has experienced drastic economic impacts with travel coming to a standstill, therefore it is imperative that we navigate the unparalleled social and economic emergency that is COVID-19.

The Safe Traveler PNG Guidelines Program is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) developed in December 2020 with the endorsement of the PNGTPA management and board, National Controller’s Office and the National Department of Health.

The program focuses on the ‘Niupela Pasin’ or simply reiterating the Covid19 health and safety protocols in the tourism industry. The operators are to follow the Covid19 protocols in order to maintain a clean, healthy and safe business for their guests and employees.

Following the passing of the National Pandemic Act 2020 and the new measures publicly circulated by the SOE Controller of PNG, PNGTPA has a responsibility to ensure tourism industry members are;

  1. Well equipped with knowledge on Covid19 and the necessary process for response, and
  2. Meet basic hygiene and cleaning requirements

These guidelines are our way of ensuring implementation of this Act within the tourism and hospitality sector.

The following Seven Guidelines have been created for:

  • The Traveler
  • Accommodation (integrate into Accommodation Accreditation Program)
  • Operators with facilities
  • Operators without facilities
  • Cruise Shore Excursion Operators
  • Tourist Attractions and Events
  • Host Communities and villages

Aim of the program:

  • Culmination of the Niupela Pasin and global best practices
  • Safe Tourism protocols that ensure health and safety standards specific to the tourism industry of PNG
  • Ensure a level of safety and awareness in the tourism industry of PNG – consumer confidence in the new normal
  • The Guidelines aim to protect – the Traveler, the Business, the Workforce and the Host Communities
  • Stamp of certification for tourist to recognize tourism destinations and business operators that have adopted health and safety protocols in their operation
  • The Guidelines are subject to change pending directives from SOE Controller’s office and/or Department of Health 

Following the endorsement of the program, awareness campaigns were delivered in mid-2021 to East New Britain, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, West Sepik and the National Capital District. These visits focused on the objectives of the program to encourage membership. Membership to the program is free hence tourism operators are welcome to join the program at any time.

Safe Traveler PNG workshop participants, Sandaun Provinvce

Image: PNGTPA Policy & Planning officer Mary Kanawi (back far left) and tourism workshop participants in Sandaun Province. 

 

For further information, email: [email protected]