By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The cost of high tax charges on domestic airfares has remained an issue in Papua New Guinea.
This does not make local tourism an attractive market for Papua New Guineans to travel around the country.
This was a concern raised by locals of Northern Province, Mary Oriri, calling on the National Government to discuss and resolve this matter.
She said Papua New Guinea is a highly potential tourism destination, with many products to offer to both local and international tourists.
However, the local tourism industry hasn’t been fully exploited because of substantial high tax rate charges on domestic airfares.
“High tax rates have affected the growth and promotion of local tourism in Papua New Guinea.”
“And for this reason, most Papua New Guineans cannot fly to other provinces,” Oriri said.
This same issue was also raised in Wewak by a local villager, Maggie Buit.
“We cannot travel to other provinces because of the high cost of airfares. This is because, tax by the National Government is very high,” said Buit.
A very vocal MP and Northern Province Governor, Gary Juffa, is pleading on behalf of citizens of this nation.
Addressing the public during PNG Air’s maiden flight to Girua Airport, Popondetta yesterday, Juffa said high tax charges are impediments to the tourism and development of PNG.
Governor Juffa has assured the people of Papua New Guinea that he will fight for this in parliament.
Meanwhile, The Report Papua New Guinea 2015 by Oxford Business Group states, while PNG has plenty to offer to business and adventure tourists, a major drawback is high cost of domestic airfares and inland travel requires professional logistics coordination.