Tourism creates jobs, skills and infrastructure: World Bank
A new World Bank project aims to strengthen the potential of tourism in Papua New Guinea, which has seen international arrivals grow by an average of 13% since 2002.
The PNG Tourism Sector Development Project, approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, will work with the government and industry players on implementing an integrated approach to tourism in two provinces. Project activities will include efforts to upgrade local infrastructure, strengthen the capacity of the sector’s workforce, and improve the planning, marketing, and promotion of destinations. The US$20 million (PGK64 million) credit will also provide targeted support for community-led micro-enterprises to create jobs, especially for women.
The two provinces to pilot the project – East New Britain and Milne Bay – were chosen due to their high tourism-potential, rich variety of attractions, and the potential spillover effect for the country. The two provinces account for 11% of PNG’s population.
“PNG’s tourism industry has been steadily growing over the past decade, leading to jobs and development across the country,” said Jerry Agus, the Chief Executive Officer for the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority. “The government is committed to further developing our tourism sector in a way that benefits our people. East New Britain and Milne Bay are two key starting points to make that happen and show the world what this extraordinary country has to offer.”
With rich natural diversity and unique cultural traditions, PNG has broad appeal to the tourism market. Sustainable tourism can create more inclusive growth, by generating a wide variety of jobs for both women and men, and provide income-earning opportunities for rural communities, for example, by producing handicrafts.
Tourism can also encourage active protection of both the environment and cultural traditions. The PNG Tourism Master Plan 2007-2017, which will be updated under the project, outlines ecotourism and culture as key opportunities – and promoted activities such as diving, surfing, sailing, and trekking, as well as sites featuring world war heritage and intangible cultural heritage, attract a growing number of international tourists.
Through extensive consultations in PNG and also learning from successful tourism projects, an integrated approach across national, provincial and local tourism initiatives was identified as a priority.
“Tourism offers Papua New Guinea a winning value proposition: it creates jobs, skills, and infrastructure development,” said Patricia Veevers-Carter, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Papua New Guinea. “This integrated project is the first of its kind in PNG, and it will enable the sector to learn the lessons from tourism project around the world. The World Bank looks forward to supporting PNG as it welcomes more people to the land of a million different journeys.”
The project will also leverage the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) relationship with cruise lines and inbound operators, to develop more inclusive packages.
(Source: The World Bank 09 June 2017)