Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville has been described by the National Tourism Minister, Tobias Kulang, as a last frontier that has the high potential to become a premier tourism destination in the Pacific.
In his recent ministerial visit to Bougainville, Minister Kulang was amazed with the potential Bougainville has to offer.
The visit was to explore available products and meet with stakeholders on how to develop the tourism industry.
It began in Buin, South Bougainville, then to Central and North Bougainville where Yamamoto’s plane, Panguna Mine and the movie Mr Pip was filmed.
“This place can be defined as the last frontiers in terms of tourism in Papua New Guinea and in the Pacific.
“Bougainville is the last discovery, that has been hidden away from the rest of world and now we are about to explore the products. Bougainville is going to take the lead once given the opportunity,” Kulang said.
Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Simon Pentanu, said tourism is a sustainable growth and is perfect in terms of economic development for Bougainville.
“For people to come, see and enjoy so that they can go back and talk about it. It’s one way of attracting tourists to Bougainville,” he said.
Locals acknowledged Minister Kulang’s visit because it was timely.
Moses Miramira who is part of the clan that owns Tousina Island in Central Bougainville told EMTV News that the people are overwhelmed of a National Minister from Waigani’s visit to them.
“We want to ensure that what we will is family based and that it would benefit our family,” he said.
Bougainville and the Solomon Islands will also be linked through the Solomon Seas Tourism Zone Initiative.
South Bougainville Women Representative of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Isabel Peta, said that the tourism industry was a great need for Bougainville, as the region is heading towards referendum.
“We are really supportive of tourism, because it will sustain our economy and the people as well,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kulang says the national government through its agencies will ensure tourism is tapped into, to assist the Autonomous Bougainville Government with internal revenue.