Papua New Guinea

Preparation of National Tourism Plan for Papua New Guinea and Provincial Tourism Development Plans for the Provinces of East New Britain and Milne Bay

  • Client: Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority
  • Partners:
  • Project Duration: October 2019 – October 2020

Project Overview:  Placed among over 600 islands, Papua New Guinea is an unrealized gem in the South Pacific. A significant WWII battleground hidden by time, the region is one where unique history and diverse culture mix to create one of the most extraordinary experiences on the globe. Visitors to the island are immediately introduced to a land that provides expansive treks, rich cultural displays, breathtaking diving, stunning natural wonders, and deep historical significance.

While certain islands in the South Pacific, such as Fiji, have made a significant tourism industry for the area, Papua New Guinea has a small share in it. It currently makes up only 5% of regional arrivals in the South Pacific, and growth has been slow. PNG also shows a market gap on holiday tourism, making up only 2% of holiday visitors to the South Pacific. In 2018, only 30% of travelers to PNG were on holiday compared to 70% at other Pacific destinations.

Although the unique history and culture of the islands is its largest tourism factor, there is fear that these historic sites are not sustainable. Lack of proper preservation methods has led to deterioration which, if gone unchecked, could result in the eventual loss of one of the country’s most valuable attractions.

To address these factors, the Tourism Promotion Agency in collaboration with provincial counterparts for East New Britain and Milne Bay are in need of a new 5 Year National Tourism Plan (2020-2025) and more specific Regional Tourism Development Plans to guide the collective efforts of the public and private sector to catalyze the development of the tourism industry into a stronger, smarter, greener and better tourism destination. By incorporating sustainability principals into the tourism plans, PNG’s tourism industry has the potential to not only create jobs and income earning opportunities but ensure environmental and cultural heritage preservation. Looking forward, it is possible to embrace sustainability principles by considering environmental carrying capacity, social responsibility and integrating tourism into local communities. As PNG approaches this critical crossroads of its development, it is vital to establish a shared strategic direction and provide guidelines to support decisions impacting its future as a tourism destination.

Major Activities:

  • Complete a ‘Tourism Sector Assessment’ comprising:
    • A desktop analysis of the National Tourism Master Plan (2007-2017) Review;
    • A supply inventory and associated situation analysis of the current tourism sector landscape in Papua New Guinea broadly, and East New Britain and Milne Bay in detail.
  • Develop five-year tourism plans for PNG and selected provinces, specifically:
    • A new National Tourism Master Plan for PNG for the period 2020-2025;
    • A Provincial Tourism Development Plan (each) for East New Britain and Milne Bay for 2020-2025.

Anticipated Results:  

  • Improved tourism services in targeted destinations through strengthening institutional and policy frameworks at the national, provincial and local levels; and supporting the development of integrated tourism destinations in Milne Bay and East New Britain.

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