The FINANCIAL -- Cruise tourism brought $5.9 million Australian dollars into Papua New Guinea’s economy last year, with an estimated $0.2 million dollars in indirect economic benefits, according to a new study.
The study, commissioned by the Australian Government, World Bank Group member IFC and the region’s leading cruise operator Carnival Australia, looked at PNG’s five main ports and identified a number of opportunities and investments to develop cruise tourism and capitalise further on the growing sector.
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 AO, announced the results of the study at an event in Port Moresby today.
Following a similar study in Vanuatu in 2014, where cruising was found to bring $34 million annually, Prime Minister O’Neill noted the significance of the information contained in the report.
“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. 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."
Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, said the private sector is a major catalyst for development, and as part of its economic diplomacy agenda, Australia is committed to strengthening links with businesses across the region.
”The study will help determine future areas of focus under the Australian Government’s partnership with Papua New Guinea and Carnival Australia to enhance the economic opportunities tourism can bring to countries in the Pacific,” Mr Davis said.
According to the Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruising to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, each cruise ship arriving in Papua New Guinea brings $94,461 worth of direct benefits to a range of businesses and organizations. Data for the study was provided by the region’s major cruise company Carnival Australia, as well as passengers, businesses and government, interviewed across the country’s major tourist ports of Alotau, Doini Island, Kiriwina, Kitava and Rabaul.
The World Bank Group, through IFC, has been working to attract more tourists to the Pacific region. “Cruise tourism can boost household incomes and create jobs for local people,” 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.”
Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry said the study was a key outcome of its partnership with Australian Government to support sustainable development in the South Pacific.
Through two of its cruise lines P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises, Carnival Australia makes 26 visits to Papua New Guinea each year, bringing more than 44,000 passengers – an eight-fold increase in passenger numbers since 2013.
“Carnival Australia has a long and harmonious relationship with the Pacific Islands, its people and its communities. We have a commitment to practise sustainable tourism and ensure communities benefit from the growth of cruising,” Ms Sherry said.
“This report is significant because it confirms, for the first time, the long value chain of cruising, which reaches deep into the Pacific Islands to deliver economic opportunity.
“Importantly, it is also a forward looking document that paints a picture of opportunities for destinations in the South Pacific to take advantage of the benefits of cruise tourism.
“We look forward to continue to develop rewarding and positive relationships with governments and communities with cruise tourism creating shared value for all.”
Tourism is vital to the sustainable growth of the Pacific islands, contributing an estimated three percent of the Oceania region’s gross domestic product and 12 percent of total employment in 2014, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Economic Impact Study of CRUISING TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Summary of Key Findings (monetary figures in Australian Dollars)
In 2015, cruise ship companies, their passengers and crew spent $5.7 million in Papua New Guinea.
Cruise activity brought an estimated indirect $0.2 million to businesses and individuals that work with firms directly supplying the cruise industry.
The cruise ship industry is estimated to provide more than 200 employment opportunities in Papua New Guinea.
Each cruise ship voyage brings an average of $94,461 to the PNG economy. One cruise ship passenger spends $76 in Rabaul and $47 in Alotau, on average.
Rabaul receives 50 percent of all passenger spend in Papua New Guinea (and 41 percent of all spend). This is due to higher spending opportunities and facilities (i.e. ATMs, shaded areas, toilets ashore) in Rabaul.
Last year more than 30,000 cruise tourists visited Papua New Guinea across the five main ports. This is more than tourist arrivals by air.
An additional $12.5 million of net economic benefits over ten years has been identified through investment opportunities profiled in the study. These opportunities are focused on infrastructure investment and product development of goods and services available to cruise tourists.