Wednesday, November 5, 2008

K2 million to promote tourism still unused

NEARLY K2 million to develop culture and tourism activities in the country has been sitting unused for the past six months in a trust account at Waigani, The National newspaper reports.
Minister for Culture and Tourism Charles Abel revealed this at the 11th Mamose governors’ conference last Friday in Salamaua, Huon Gulf district, while presenting a cheque for K50, 000 to develop Black Cat Trail between Salamaua and Wau.
Mr Abel has called on all culture and tourism promoters and developers to document and compile proposals and submit them to make use of the funds.
He said the master plan for the Black Cat Skin Diwai track was documented and compiled.
The launching was held recently at Lae International Hotel and an initial funding for the track worth K70, 000 was given.
Mr Abel said the Kokoda Track alone had attracted 6,000 tourists this year.
“If we want to further promote and market tourism in the country, we have to change our behaviours, characters and attitudes,” he said.
“The tourism and culture business is a total community participation venture and it benefits all.
“Why are we killing ourselves committing hold-ups and hijacking our visitors?” Mr Abel asked.
“If Salamaua local level government leaders and communities are serious about developing their two significant historical sites, they must wake up from their slumber,” Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said.
Community leaders and people should work collectively with the Government to introduce a product to attract tourists, he added.
Mr Wenge also accepted a petition from the Salamaua people to develop Black Cat Trail and build a sea wall to protect historical sites at Salamaua, the former colonial administrative centre of Morobe.


Matt Clarke said...


A small goup of us have just completed this trek. The highlight was definately the villagers along the way. They were very welcoming, great people and keen to get tourism going. Besides Skindewai to Godagusul (please excuse my spelling), it was pretty straight forward. We did it in about 3 and a half days but could have taken a bit longer and had better look around. Awesome scenery and plenty of war relics to keep military historians happy. Saw some of the great work being done by Trek Force. I note that some of the trekking company's charge about A$3,500 to over A$4,000 (excluding airfares) per person for the experience which I find mind-boggling.

Matt Clarke

Malum Nalu said...

Hi Matt, congratulations on completing the trek and I'm so happy to hear that you got on well with the people. I had dinner with members of the Trekforce last Thursday before they left. Sorry to hear about the trekking company - expatriate owned, of course - ripping you off. I'm looking at setting up my own company, as I'm part Salamaua. Do keep in touch...Malum

Matt Clarke said...

Hi Malum, we didn't use a trekking company because of the prices they charge but more importantly the likely fact that little of the money would go to the land owners. I hope you get something set-up soon. There's no reason why locals couldn't run these things and take their fair share of the fees. The local guides we met along the way were great (Kerry, Master, Ray, Steven and Lionel). Tim Vincent also provided a great service in Wau.