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ALOTAU EXPECTS INFLUX OF TOURISTS THIS YEAR

By Thomas Huliambari

Alotau, Milne Bay Province is expecting influx of tourists this year as ten cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in the province this year.

Four of these ships have already visited and departed.

Out of the 10 ships, three will make more than one visit to Milne Bay.

These are the schedules according to the Cruise Ship Tourism Schedule 2023-2026 for the ships to shore into Milne Bay province.

Paul Gauguin on January 27,

Coral Princess – January 29,

Silver Shadow February 1,

MSS RSS Explorer Regent Seven Seas Explorer – February 4,

Le Laperouse February 12,

Silver Muse February – 14,

MSS RSS Explorer Regent Seven Seas – February 18,

MSC Poesia – March 5,

MSC Magnifica – March 25,

Pacific Encounter – April 28,

Pacific Encounter – June 10,

Pacific Encounter – August 19,

SH Minerva – August 28,

Pacific Encounter – October 6,

Coral Princess – December 21.

According to the Milne Bay Tourism Bureau (MBTB) they already prepared to receive the tourists by creating new tour operators and site owners.

Acting Manager of MBTB Modakula Kunuyobu said the increase in new Milne Bay tour operators and site owners was encouraged to meet the demand in the increase in the number cruise ships arriving into the province.

He added that there is emphasis for Milne Bay people to take on this opportunity to receive extra tourists on site visit to Battle of Milne Bay War Memorial, Village Highlights, Adventure and Agriculture Tourism.

“All Milne Bay people are encouraged to develop your tours and sites and develop your products with building safe hygiene toilets and observing COVID 19 protocols for future tourists that visit Milne Bay,” he added.

 Kunuyobu further stressed that the recently launched 2023 Milne Bay Provincial Cultural Events Calendar is programmed to coincide with the Cruise Ship Tourism Schedule so tourists both local and international are able to attend the events.

The First time expeditionary tour operator, VilLink Tours Managing Director, Maleta Tokwakasi, did her first organized tour with tourists on the Silver Shadow on February 1st  said there are many areas to be improved to cater for the influx of cruise ship tourists into Alotau.

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