Enhancing Kokoda's tourism and livelihoods

The Kokoda Track catchment region is a popular destination for trekkers, and local campsites and guesthouses provide much-needed rest and accommodation for visitors.

These businesses not only offer a unique tourism experience but also improve the livelihoods of communities along the track.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop and Central Province Deputy Governor Willie Vave recently donated supplies and equipment to the owners of nine campsites in the southern region of the Kokoda Track. The donations included a range of water security materials, pipes, tap fittings, and solar lighting packages that will enable the campsites and guesthouses to improve their lighting and access to water and raise their accommodation standards to meet trekker and tourist expectations along the track.

The donations from the governors and the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) will not only enhance tourism growth along the track but also improve livelihoods for communities and households in the region. This is a crucial step towards sustainable development and protecting the area.

The PNG-Australia Partnership has been working to improve compliance with the TPA's accommodation accreditation standards and promote better business management, service quality, and amenities. The partnership has also supported a range of training initiatives to diversify the skills of campsite and guesthouse owners and increase income-generating activities.

An Australian High Commission representative emphasized the importance of this partnership and expressed Australia's pride in supporting the government of Papua New Guinea to assist campsite and guesthouse owners along the track. The Kokoda Track is one of PNG's premier tourist destinations and has grown to embody the spirit of friendship forged between Australia and PNG during WWII.

Local campsites and guesthouses provide a unique opportunity for international trekkers to forge people-to-people connections with communities along the track, building on the shared history of Australia and PNG. The Kokoda initiative is a long-term partnership between the two countries to sustainably develop and protect the Kokoda Track and surrounding areas.

Since 2018, Australia has been working with the Tourism Promotion Authority and the Kokoda Track Authority to support campsite and guesthouse owners in the region. This includes the establishment of the Kokoda Track Campsite and Guesthouse Owners Association, which provides a forum for owners to collaborate and receive training, including financial literacy and tourism management.

The initiative also supports the training of the Kokoda Track Authority rangers, who work with community members and campsite owners to ensure the track remains safe and accessible for visitors and those who live along it.

This collaboration strengthens infrastructure and services along the Kokoda Track, which benefits and builds tourism revenue in Central Province and the National Capital District.

Loop author