Image: Coral Sea Hotels Group Manger Marc Ehler speaking to organizers of the Expo during the exhibition.
Jana Zoriry – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
The Divine Word University’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Department has successfully hosted its 11th Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo on Friday (21 September, 2018).
With the theme “Protecting Culture and Heritage with Core Values for the Digital Age”, the Expo was aimed at preparing students for the workforce and to challenge them to participate actively.
The Expo attracted Professionals from the Tourism and Hospitality Sector, Business houses, students and staff of Divine Word University.
Speaking at the Expo was Coral Sea Hotels Group Manager Marc Ehler, who said PNG has a great potential for tourism.
However, he added that tourists are driven away by one-off events such as the provincial cultural shows.
Mr Ehler said this was not “economically viable” and urged tourism service providers to come up with initiatives which would encourage more tourists to visit all year round.
He added that digital marketing has now enabled Papua New Guineans in remote areas to tap into tourism through social media platforms.
Speaking also at the Expo was local Eco-tourism operator, Vincent Kumura who highlighted challenges faced with ‘Digital Marketing’.
Mr Kumura who is the Director for Snow-Pass Eco Lodge and Founder of Kumura Foundation says the access to digital age has created challenges in maintaining sustainable cultural heritage because of its easy access.
He said even though digital age offered innovative options for tourism marketing, it has also created loss in cultural heritage.
Kumura also challenged the audience to be socially responsible and environmentally sound in promoting tourism.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to establish a Research Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management in the University which would be a hub for active research into issues of tourism and hospitality in PNG.
Source: DWU Press Release