By Michael Wartovo
TOURISM, Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur and Governor of East New Britain Nakikus Konga have signed a memorandum of understanding with Asia – Pacific Tourism Organisation from China for major tourism infrastructure projects for the proposed Kokopo city.
The MOU signing will now pave way for assistance in the rebuilding of tourism infrastructure projects for Kokopo and ENB.
Speaking during the signing of the PNG tourism industry strategic cooperation agreement, president of APTO He Guangye said: “We have reached an agreement, the MOU signing will strengthen that mutual relationship and cooperation between the people of China and PNG, especially Kokopo.”
He said the signing will pave way for tourism projects that they will assist in building including the expansion of Tokua airport, rebuilding and improving of major road infrastructure in the province and assisting in the expansion of hotels and guest houses in Kokopo as well as helping to improve various tourism sites in the province.
Mr Guanye said apart from tourism projects, they will also be looking at improving health and education sectors in the districts and LLGs right down to the ward level.
“So that we improve the standard of living in each of the levels of government in the province,” he said.
Mr Guanye said Kokopo City has to build more guest houses and hotels to accommodate the influx number of tourists going into the province and improve the number of tourism products that are on offer for international exposure.
Mr Guanye said under this NGO group, they are also helping other 27 member countries including PNG in the South Pacific Region to improve various tourism projects.
He said Kokopo is a beautiful place and they need to rebuild it into a more central tourism hub destination.
“So that we are on par with other world class tourism destinations in the world. We need to have traditional guest houses set up in the most attractive sites in the province,” he said.