By Serah Aupong – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Gurney and Kagamuga Airports will become the points of entry for Australian tourists who wish to get visas on arrival into PNG.
Acting Culture and Tourism Minister, Charles Abel, said this is part of a new Tourism Zone Policy that is aimed at encouraging more Australian tourists to visit the country.
While this policy has received NEC approval, the implementation will require a strong collaboration among stakeholders such as the National Airports Corporation, Air Niugini, Tourism Promotion Authority and the Office of the Chief Migration Officer.
The minister said the “mechanics” of this policy will need to be ironed out before the first of these flights take off.
The main component of the plan will involve establishing direct flights from Brisbane to Gurney Airport in Alotau and Mt Hagen’s Kagamuga Airport.
Peter Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of the National Promotion Authority, says the main challenge in the past has been the lack of collaborative effort among stakeholders; however he is optimistic of this latest venture.
Abel says the direct flights will initially be subsidised by the government and this arrangement will be reviewed after 12 months.
This Tourism Zone Policy will only apply to Gurney and Kagamuga as Milne Bay and Western Highlands have been marked as tourism zones.
Australian tourists who travel into PNG through other airports will not be given visas on arrival.