PNG must invest in tourism
by The National
THE Government must demonstrate a greater commitment to the culture and tourism industry in terms of building a sustainable economic platform for Papua New Guinea away from the non renewable sector.
This was outlined in a press release by Culture and Tourism Minister Charles Abel who stated that the funding by the Government towards the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) plan for next year was insufficient.
Mr Abel thanked the Government for the 2008 Budget allocations to the agencies under his ministry - Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), The National Museum and Art Gallery and the National Cultural Commission (NCC).
However, he expressed concerns regarding the TPA budget.
He said the National Executive Council (NEC) had endorsed the 10-year master plan for tourism last May which included K13 million per year for the next three years, a total of K39 million for tourism alone.
Mr Abel said the Government’s contribution under the plan totalled K11 million for 2008 which was K2 million less than endorsed in the tourism master plan.
“This is insufficient for proper implementation of the plan and other initiatives such as further input to the National Development Bank Tourism Micro-Credit Scheme,” he said.
He said the Government had been supporting the development of the tourism sector with significant increases in the TPA budget since 1993 and that this had to be understood.
“I have written to the ministers for Treasury and Finance and National Planning and Monitoring and their departmental heads expressing my concern and have asked my staff in conjunction with TPA to re-draft the 2008 budget submission towards a further allocation in any forthcoming mini-budget,” he said.