Cultural Progress through Rural Tourism

It is important to preserve Papua New Guinea's culture in order to move forward. Culture can also be a means of progress for the country and by promoting, protecting, and monetizing cultural events, tourism can be attracted to the country.

During the launch of his peoples first ever Samarai-Murua Music, Song and Dance festival, Member for Samarai Murua and Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Isi Henry Leonard spoke on the recent increase in cruise ships visiting Papua New Guinea after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Alotau and how it has brought in more tourists.

Minister Leonard sees this as an opportunity to promote culture by engaging with provinces and going rural to showcase genuine cultural experiences.

Minister Leonard said, “When I took on the responsibility of becoming the minister for Art, Culture and Tourism I took the challenge that we must go rural and this is the direction in which will promote our events and even bring tourists right down to the rural level. Because that is where the genuine owners of the product are. And let them enjoy the product and monetize it.

“I was surprised to see that some of our people in Alotau they had American Dollar bills. And I asked them where did you get those monies from. From tourists. They were buying services and goods from in Alotau using US Dollar. Who would have ever imagined that. That’s the impact of tourism using culture,” he added.

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