Incoming Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Walter Schnaubelt will be faced with the challenge of navigating the country’s tourism industry out of an estimated K70 million in losses.
The COVID-19 lockdowns have had a critically devastating impact in the industry however the Schnaubelt says he looks forward to the challenges ahead.
In response to his optimism, Treasury Minister, Ian Ling – Stuckey made the announcement of additional support to the industry.
The tourism Industry has been hit very hard by the effects of COVID-19 with losses of about K70 Million Kina.
But the new Minister is adamant in doing what he can as he takes office.
Minister Schnaubelt set his vision straight saying that he prioritizes team work and through that, his Ministry will achieve their annual targets.
Schnaubelt says, “I work together as a team but I am also very conscious about team players not carrying their roles and responsibility diligently. That I will be watching out for as well…”
For almost 4 years outgoing Minister and Kokopo MP, Emil Tammur achieved much for the country’s tourism industry.
Working with the three agencies under the Ministry, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), National Cultural Commission (NCC) and National Museum and Art Gallery (NM&AG), many positive changes have occurred.
Tammur says, “International tourist numbers over the 5 years has steadily increased. In 2019 we broke the record getting 10 thousand plus tourists.”
But there are outstanding issues that he clearly outlined to the incoming Minister.
“Besides COVID-19, there are also challenges in the National Museum and Arts Gallery. We have outstanding legacy issues inherited when I came in,” Tammur said.
Tourism was the first ministry that came out with a report on COVID-19 impacts and a report was presented to the Treasurer earlier this year.
Last night Treasury Minister, Ian Ling-Stuckey gave a favourable response.
“We have identified a small space in our economic stimulus package and we’re just working through now some the issues designed around it.
Ling Stuckey added, “I will leave the announcements to the new incoming Minister when that exercise is completed.”
Leaders of the three agencies under the ministry including Oro Governor, Gary Juffa, also pledged their support to Minister Schnaubelt.