For passengers, sailing through the idyllic islands of the southwestern Pacific is a holiday dream come true. But for the residents of nations like Papua New Guinea, cruise tourism is the heart and soul of the local economy. According to a recent study commissioned by the Australian Government, IFC and Carnival Australia, cruise tourism channeled a huge $5.9 million Papua New Guinea’s economy in 2015.
Spotlighting PNG’s five major ports of Alotau, Doini Island, Kiriwina, Kitava and Rabaul, the study looked at current benefits, as well as identifying a host of opportunities and investment prospects that could help the nation build on its rapidly growing cruise tourism sector.
A line-up of high profile personalities was on-hand to announce the results at a VIP event, including Papua New Guinea Minister of Tourism, Hon Tobias Kulang, Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, IFC’s Resident Representative for PNG, Gavin Murray and Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry. PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill compared the nation’s tourism industry to nearby Vanuatu, where cruising brings in around $34 million a year.
“This data highlights the importance and potential of cruise ship tourism to our economy and to our communities. Papua New Guinea is keen to obtain similar economic benefits as Pacific neighbours such as Vanuatu are seeing,” he said. “This report helps to identify where investment should be focused, and highlights areas for Government to address as we work with the industry to grow the sector.”
Holidays, handicrafts and household incomes
Titled ‘The Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruising to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands,’ the report confirmed that each cruise ship pulling into PNG ports is worth around $94,461 to local businesses. The benefits are profound, with analysts hoping that the data inspires other island nations to tap into the lucrative opportunities associated with cruise tourism.
“Cruise tourism can boost household incomes and create jobs for local people,” comments IFC’s Resident Representative for PNG Gavin Murray said. “We hope that, as with other Pacific countries, Papua New Guinea can make use of this study and sustainably grow their tourism industry, particularly in the more remote provinces of the country.”
A commitment to sustainable cruise tourism
For Carnival, the study reflects its commitment to sustainable development in the South Pacific, and its dedication to maintaining what Sherry describes as a “long and harmonious relationship with the Pacific Islands, its people and its communities.”
See for yourself
Want to discover the South Pacific with Carnival Australia? Get in touch with our team of customer service experts to find out more about upcoming itineraries to Papua New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the southwestern Pacific.