“With much work and support from the government in promoting cruise tourism in this country, we now see the benefits of cruise tourism,” said Heni Dembis, coordinator of policy and planning, Tourism Promotion Authority.
“PNG is so diverse with fascinating cultures, people who speak almost 800 languages, virgin rainforest and pristine white sandy beaches.”
The government has been busy making it easy for cruise calls, easing various regulations including entry visas, and offering a 50 percent discount on pilot fees. New jetties and wharves in Milne Bay Province were also recently installed at Alotau, Kaibola and Kitava.
Dembis said he had been working with Carnival Australia since 2011 to develop the market for cruise ships, with the first one arriving in late 2013 (the Pacific Dawn).
“We have developed facilities like a wharf extension in Alotau, building of new jetties in Kitava and Kaibola, public amenities in Alotau, footpaths, rubbish/trash bins and more,” he said. “These were in place and delivered to Carnival’s expectations.”
In February P&O will add two more PNG ports in Kavieng and Madang, making it seven ports of call in PNG, and more on the way.