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Papua New Guinea Must Learn From Fiji, Says Sir Peter Barter

“Unless we can get the bulk of the population vaccinated, the situation will not improve and we should all learn a lesson from Fiji and we should follow that if we ever want to see tourism back,” he said.
10 Dec 2021 10:30
Papua New Guinea Must Learn From Fiji, Says Sir Peter Barter
Image Source: https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/drivers-covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-and-how-address-them-evidence-papua-new-guinea. Inset: Sir Peter Barter

Papua New Guinea’s tourism industry will collapse unless the majority of the population is vaccinated to protect themselves from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Sir Peter Barter says.

Sir Peter, who is a Madang businessman and former Parliamentarian, said the tourism industry in the country had been suffering for the last two years.

“Unless we can get the bulk of the population vaccinated, the situation will not improve and we should all learn a lesson from Fiji and we should follow that if we ever want to see tourism back,” he said.

 

Sir Peter, who is also Melanesian Tourist Services Ltd managing director, said the US travellers alert had listed PNG as a country that had to be avoided.

He said the alert was not “tuned into reality”.

The US listed the Covid-19 to its travel advisory list of reasons not to visit PNG.

 

Other reasons from the list included Bougainville, particularly around the Panguna mine, due to civil unrest; the Highlands due to civil unrest and areas in the vicinity of Mt Ulawun due to natural disaster.

“I am trying to hold onto staff as they have no other form of income to support their families, yet, not one person from the Government has tried to determine ways in which the tourism industry can be helped,” Sir Peter said.

 

“The Tourism Promotion Authority does not understand the difficulties being experienced and the attempts being made are almost meaningless as it requires great cooperation between the private and public sector.”

“PNG’s lack of vaccination is becoming a real concern, I am currently in Australia and constantly being asked what on earth is wrong with Papua New Guineans, not least the Government.”

 

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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