PNG tourism minister looks to bring down airfares

5:49 pm on 20 January 2016

Papua New Guinea's new Tourism Minister says the national carrier needs to lower airfares to make the country more attractive to foreign tourists.

Justin Tkatchencko says the 1.5 million US dollars that is budgeted for tourism marketing will be poured into East New Britain and Milne Bay provinces, so that they can become established tourism hubs.

He says he will look at a range of incentives to boost tourism providers in the two provinces.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko. Photo: Facebook / Hon Justin W Tkatchenko MP

But Mr Tkatchencko says Air Niugini's fees are not attractive enough and he will work to bring them down.

"We've always seen Papua New Guinea as a very expensive destination to come to because of the airfares, so we need to get that right down. We need to negotiate that with Air Niugini and see how we can do a break-even situation with them, to encourage tourism and people to come to PNG."

Justin Tkatchencko says he is well placed to promote tourism, with its links to his other portfolio, which is the Sports Ministry.

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