BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.
He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.
But Nisira expects that the easing of travel restrictions at the national level will see numbers of tourists increase.
He revealed that the Bougainville government has begun to develop Bougainville tourism products including promotional footage and videos for Facebook and travel websites.
He also said the Siwai Tourism Cultural Show in South Bougainville will be held in August.
It is understood that the MP for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, has invested more than K200,000 since the festival started three years ago.
Last year the show was gazetted as a nationally-funded event under the National Cultural Commission.
Nisira said access to Benua Cave and other parts of the west coast must be provided if tourism opportunities are to be maximised.
Developing the NumaNuma track to a state ready for trekkers is another project the tourism directorate is planning to revive with the assistance of development partners.
The directorate is seeking the cooperation of people who live along the track between Wakunai and Torokina.