PX pushes for visa-on-arrival for China

Air Niugini hopes to have a visa-on-arrival status for China as it prepares for its inaugural flight to Shanghai early next year.

CEO Simon Foo says this will complement the ‘approved destination status’ given to PNG by the Chinese Government.

He said a team has been working for the last 18 months to make the arrangement a reality.

“The approved destination status means our country has been approved by the Chinese government and that’s a very big tick that they regard us very closely as a nation to them, and their people will take on PNG as a favourite destination for the future.

“We just need to work out the details so that we can get visas-on-arrival on a reciprocal basis,” Foo said.

In 2016, 122 million Chinese tourists travelled the globe, spending K330 billion (US$109.8 billion).

Foo said the potential for PNG to benefit from this was significant.

In preparation for a potential increase in Chinese tourists when the flights begin, Air Niugini has partnered the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) to bring together tourism industry stakeholders through a training workshop early this week.

“The flights are planned for Tuesday and Friday departure and return on Wednesday and Saturday.

“Our team has been working for the last 18 months to get the ground work ready. We believe the industry in PNG has to back us up and get themselves prepared because when the tourists come here, they too will be given the level of service that other destinations give them.”

Cedric Patjole