East New Britain province is on the verge of facing a crumbling tourism industry following the refusal of the Queen Elizabeth Cruise ship last Sunday over threats of the coronavirus.
In a meeting last Friday, tour operators have outlined the schedules of 11 more cruise ships that are set to visit the province later this year.
But the visits are now at the mercy of a blanket ban imposed about a week ago by the East New Britain provincial administration.
Chief Executive Officer of the East New Britain Tourism Authority Gard Renson says the ban is temporary but it is not sure when it will be uplifted.
The tour operators say the blanket ban on cruise ships without banning other forms of arrival was no sure measure in avoiding any outbreak.
Meanwhile, tour operators say the abrupt ban has not only affected tourism business in the province, but has also jeopardized the relationships between the province and the visiting cruise ships in the years to come.
By Edwin Fidelis, EMTV News, Kokopo