Gulf taps into tourism potential

Only until five years ago, Gulf was not a province on the list for tourist destinations in PNG.

But this is about to change, as the current governor, Chris Haiveta, is determined to make tourism in the province a priority.

The Gulf Tourism Office, for the first time, participated at the Lukim Nau Tourism Exposition 2017.

Speaking with Loop PNG, Culture and Tourism officer, Vincent Lavapo Ehari, said the province was never considered a tourism destination due to its negative publicity.

“But since 2013/14, we’ve changed the perception, trying to get people to understand the fact that we have more to offer,” he said.

Ehari said the province has tracks that are still unknown to the rest of PNG and the world. Even the fauna and flora and bird species there have never been exposed.

“The Kikori River alone is one river in the world that has 99 species of fish, that is a classic example,” he said.

He described Gulf Province as the last frontier.

“That gives me more urge to develop the industry,” he added.

With oil and gas activity in the province, the provincial tourism office expects an influx of people in the coming years.  

“So we want to be prepared in the hotel industry to be able to cater for the international visitors that come,” said Ehari.

He furthered stated that proper accommodation and training personnel was important in this area.

“The industry itself can do its own building and development, based on the kind of support that’s given. We have to get the policies in place where we control the industry.”  

Gloria Bauai