THE Papua New Guinean government is to reverse its decision not to grant visas on arrival to Australian tourists.
“It is an impediment to attracting tourists in the country,” said Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang
“We will withdraw our position and reinstate visa on arrival for our Australian friends when they arrive at Jackson’s international terminal.”
Mr Kulang said Peter O’Neill had taken the original decision but “this twist of decision was made in the best interest for the tourism industry in the country”.
The number of tourists entering PNG dropped by 40% from 5,000 to 3,000 last year and Mr Kulang hopes that, by reinstating the decision, more tourists will be attracted to the country.
Meanwhile the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority has released statistics on the near 200,000 visitors who arrived in PNG last year.
Acting CEO Eric Uvovo said over one-third of visitors come for business, nearly one-third arrive for employment and one-quarter are tourists.
Australia has the biggest share of the market with nearly half of arrivals.
The Asian market takes up 13% followed by Germany with 9% and the United Kingdom with 6%.