by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
As part of Tourism week celebrations, the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority conducted a marketing workshop today for local industry partners and overseas offices and agents.
The workshop was aimed at discussing, building relationships and working through issues and challenges faced when marketing PNG as a travel destination.
The workshop was attended by local tour operators and guest house owners and others from the industry.
TPA Marketing Director, Alice Kuaningi, said TPA Destination Marketing Managers gave presentations with focus ranging from customer service, preparedness in attending trade events overseas, use of social media, basic skills of commission and pricing, product development and how to have products market-ready for tourists.
“You know tourists here, how to look after them, how to offer services that are of standard and when they go back and through word of mouth we can have more tourists come in and visit Papua New Guinea,” Ms Kuaningi said.
Kayleen Allen, TPA Project Manager for the Rabaul-Kokopo Destination, gave a presentation that provided operators an overview on how to work with wholesalers around the world.
“The PNG industry, it’s all about working together. There (are) some fantastic products here. We need to get the message out but people need to work together as an industry. PNG as a tourism destination is definitely for the adventure traveller – it’s not for the first-time traveller experience for a majority of people, it’s for someone that’s coming here for a specific type of niche, whether its diving or tracking to experience the cultural life and that’s what we need to be able to package and deliver to these people,” Ms Allen said.
She also gave tips and tricks on how to build relationships and the sorts of information they need to prepare. Ms Allen said more collaboration in the sector is needed for PNG to be marketed well.
Local tour operator, Florence Bunari, found the workshop highly constructive as the operations manager for the Buna Treks and Tours, that focus on the Kokoda Track corridors.
“Tourism is PNG has a very big potential. It does not destroy the environment which is very important; it goes right down to the village level where everybody benefits. I would like to call on the government of PNG to consider really investing in [tourism] and most importantly support the local tour operators,” Ms Bunari said.
The workshop was funded by the European Union through the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.