25 Nov 2013

Large cruise ship visits key to tourism growth in Milne Bay, PNG

6:43 am on 25 November 2013

A former journalist in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay says large cruise ship visits are key to the growth of tourism in the province.

The capital Alotau hosted more than 2000 guests on board a large 11 deck ocean liner operated by the Carnival subsidiary P&O Cruises for the first time earlier this month.

Peter Niesi says the purchase of local artefacts and use of transport by the visitors has boosted the economy.

He says there is potential to develop the tourism industry in Milne Bay by welcoming more cruise ships.

"For the kind of services that Pacific Dawn and P&O liners are doing, that's the sort of tourism that island provinces like Milne Bay would handle quite well because they don't have to spend so much on infrastructure and utilities but they still enjoy the benefits of a lot of tourists visiting at any one time."

Peter Niesi says most of the province's tourist venues such as war memorials do not have the capacity to cope with large tour groups, and says better coordination is needed to cater for every visitor.