LOs make history

History was made on October 12th when the Tourism Promotion Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a landowner company to develop eco-tourism.

The agreement with the Ok Tedi Landowners Royalty Investment Trust will see TPA provide technical and other support to the landowner communities to develop and market their tourism products.

Tourism Promotion Authority CEO, Jerry Agus, said whilst we appreciate the good work that the mining and petroleum sector is doing, it is common knowledge that this sector has a timeframe to it.

“Over the next 20 or 30 years’ time, we know that these sectors will come to an end,” he stated.

“And when that happens, which industries are we going to fall back on?

“We must develop buffer industries that our people and our communities must fall back on.”

The TPA boss said the decision by the Ok Tedi landowners, through their firm, the Star Mountain Group of Companies, is a positive step forward.

Royalty Trust CEO, Aubrey DeSouza, said this eco-tourism project is exciting as it will benefit the 10 mine villages around Ok Tedi.

“And we expect the project to grow and give them sustainable employment and other opportunities,” he said.

Royalty Trust aims to attract a maximum of about 50 to 100 bird watchers per month.

The Trust started in 2016 and mainly focused on investments such as real estate, hotels and share acquisitions to generate income for the landowner communities.

Carmella Gware