Hawkins said delegates and foreign Governments are anticipated to spend around 200 million Kina visiting Papua New Guinea over the next year, so now is not the time to play games.
He was speaking after a hotel owner in Madang made claims that only Port Moresby would host APEC meetings, a claim that the CEO says is misleading.
“Many of the main APEC Meetings have delegate numbers of more than 2,000 people and involved over 60 individual meetings.
“It is not practical to host meetings of this magnitude in Madang as the required infrastructure is not available.
“At the First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) in February, at any one time we will have eight meetings of 150 delegates taking place.
“These meetings require the full deployment of audio visual resources, transport network, catering for several thousand delegates and staff and other logistics.
“Madang and other regional centres will have other APEC events, but not the meeting clusters of thousands of delegates and staff currently planned for SOM1.
“It would be prudent for hotel owners not to refer to initial schedules, but to be patient and wait until formal announcements have been made.
“More than fifteen thousand delegates, security officials, administrative staff and other officials will visit Papua New Guinea in 2018 as part of their delegations presence and spend around 200 million Kina on their travel, accomodation and other expenses.
“This is a substantial cash injection into the economy.”
Hawkins said as the year progresses people around the country will be a part of APEC, and delegates will experience the true diversity of Papua New Guinea.
“APEC will showcase the Nation, not just a few locations, not just Port Moresby, not just Lae or Madang, but the length and breadth of the country.
“We will host APEC meetings and have regional visits in Madang, and also take delegates to Goroka, Mt Hagen, Kokopo, Wewak, Kavieng, Kokopo, Lae, Popondetta, Bougainville and many other centres, we are also looking at Tari and Tabubil to showcase resource sector development.
“From the Island to the Highlands, there is so much to see. Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world, and our delegates are keen to see as much as they can.
“Where else in the world could you wake up by a the beautiful blue waters of the islands and then that afternoon be in the altitude and culture of the highlands.
“There are two main stories to tell in Papua New Guinea’s hosting of APEC – the promotion of the history and diversity, and the tourism potential of the country, the other is the promotion of modern Papua New Guinea, with an expanding economy and the most attractive investment potential in the world.”