Thursday, 24 September 2015

Experience Adventure and freedom in PNG places in the world exist where tourists can trek active volcanoes, snorkel past coral gardens and purple starfish, discover World War II tunnels, relax in a geothermal hot spring and break bread with local tribe’s people, all in one day. Accurate experiences like these look out in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

First of all, PNG is positioned some 8,600 miles and about four flights away from New York. The ExxonMobil project has the capability to double the size of PNG's economy, according to research released by the Human Rights Watch. Other factors contributing to PNG's growth, predominantly in the tourism sector, are the 2015 Pacific Games, which welcomed athletes from 24 Pacific nations in July, and the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. In preparation for these large-scale events, PNG's hospitality industry has skyrocketed from 600 room nights to 6,000 room nights within the past four years.
Additional hotels are in development, including the 433-room Raintree Hotel and a Hilton property, both to be built in the Waigani Precinct, one of six precincts in Port Moresby that are being developed precisely for the APEC Summit. The Waigani Convention Center is also set for completion by 2018.

The Tourism Promotion Authority is also placing more stress on cruising. Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises include PNG in their itineraries, and the authority hopes to attract more expedition cruises, with 150 passengers or less, which can dock in more remote areas. Milne Bay Province, which includes Alotau, Kiriwina, Kitava and Doini, is PNG's major cruise hub and will welcome 57 calls in 2016. The authority's focus in the next five to 10 years, said Vincent, will be turning Rabaul into a more accessible cruise destination.

Cruising has also been a solution to the high cost of airfare to get from the U.S. to PNG. Typically, U.S. travelers fly through Australia with Virgin Australia or Qantas, with roundtrip fares from Los Angeles running $2,500 per person in the high season. Beginning Oct. 25, however, Philippine Airlines will offer a more cost-effective solution with connections through Manila. The carrier's twice-weekly service from Manila to Port Moresby will start at $720 per person, round trip.


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