Hotel investments transforming Port Moresby into regional conference venue


By the time of the APEC Summit in 2018, Port Moresby could have as many as 2590 high-end hotel rooms, and conference capacity for many thousands. Hoteliers tell Business Advantage PNG that the increase in scale and quality means the capital could become a world-class regional conference venue.

The outlook from the refurbished Ela Beach Hotel.

The outlook from the refurbished Ela Beach Hotel.

Just five years ago, there were just 600 high-end hotel rooms in Port Moresby.

But economic growth, and regional sporting and political events have prompted new investments in rooms and in conference facilities.

The newest project under consideration is a 500-room hotel, for which state-owned enterprise Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) is teaming up with Hong Kong property developer Shin Kong Pacific Investments.

The plans include a convention centre, gym, spa, restaurants and shops.

While a site has yet to be announced, one option is to build it on waterfront land vacated once the relocation of the capital’s port to Motukea Island has been completed.


Port Moresby’s newest hotel, the Stanley, opened in July in central Waigani, with 429 rooms. General Manager Geoff Haigh says the centrepiece of the hotel is its function space, which can cater for a plenary conference attendance of up to 1,000 and a sit-down dinner for 1,200.

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It has more than doubled the conference capacity of the city, he believes. In addition, the National Convention Centre in Waigani, with its 700-seat auditorium, was opened earlier this year.

‘Port Moresby is becoming a metropolitan city.’

Haigh says Port Moresby can now develop as a regional conference centre, attracting large conferences, which would otherwise go to either New Zealand or Australia.

The new National Convention Centre in Waigani.

The new National Convention Centre in Waigani.

The events prompting these developments include the 2015 Pacific Games, the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in November, the Rugby League World Cup in 2017 and several APEC-related events in the lead-up to the main leaders’ summit in November 2018.

‘Port Moresby is becoming a metropolitan city,’ observes Deidre Halstead, Group Sales & Marketing Manager for Coral Seas Hotels.

It has developed into a premier location for international events, adding diversity and travellers to PNG, she adds.

Coral Sea Hotels has three hotels in Port Moresby (Grand Papua Hotel, Gateway Hotel & Apartments and Ela Beach Hotel & Apartments), providing a total of 451 hotel rooms. Its conference facilities can cater for up to 800 at Gateway, 230 at Grand Papua Hotel and 180 at Ela Beach Hotel.


Clearly, greater competition in Port Moresby’s hotel sector is driving investment in upgraded facilities.

The Lamana Hotel recently completed major renovations, including impressive new food and beverage venues, while Airways is reopening its signature Vue Restaurant soon, after extensive renovations.

Coral Seas has spent K7 million upgrading its 97-room Ela Beach Hotel. It is also spending K25 million on new dining facilities at Gateway Hotel, most notably Jackson’s Restaurant, Bar and Gaming. Two new dining areas open in October: Enzo’s Pizza Express Takeaway and Sizzler’s Family Restaurant.

Major hotels in Port Moresby

Hotel Owner/manager Rooms Status
Airways Hotel Constantinou 149 Vue restaurant refurnished
Crowne Plaza Kumul Hotels 157 For sale
Ela Beach Hotel Coral Seas Hotels 97 Recently renovated
Five star hotel proposed Shin Kong Group & Kumul Consolidated Holdings 500 MOU signed August 2016
Gateway Hotel Coral Seas Hotels 193 Renovations under way
Grand Papua Coral Seas Hotels 161 Opened December 2011
Hilton Hotel Star Mountain Plaza/Hilton Hotels 212 Completion set for ‘late 2017’
Holiday Inn Kumul Hotels 153 Refurbished 2010
Holiday Inn Express Kumul Hotels 199 Opened May 2015
Laguna Hotel TST Group 60 Opened May 2014
Lamana Hotel Constantinou 103 Recently refurbished
Proposed ‘luxury hotel’ on Paga Hill Paga Hill Development Co 200 Opening end 2018?
The Stanley R H Group 429 Opened June 2016



  1. John Pora says

    It’s time to reassess provincial contributions to the National purse and the returns to their provinces. We’ve accepted the Nation’s Capital growth at the expense of resource rich Provinces to date but change is required to grow forward collectively.

  2. Shane P Ila says

    The government should give tax incentives to investors to invest in other provinces in the Hospitality and Tourism sector and not focus development entirely in Pom only. The rapid growth of Pom creates a lopsided development and growth of the country as a whole creating major social problems like increase in unemployment, law and order. Investments should be targeted at creating more businesses and increased employment in the rural areas to stem the tide of urban migration and law and order. More people employed means less hungry people and less petty crimes to get money to buy food to satisfy a hungry tummy.

  3. Riccard Reimann says

    Yes it is sad to see Port Moresby receiving the majority of public funding whilst the Provinces continue to suffer with the lack of funding and resources toward health and basic public infrastructure.

  4. Great to hear there is so much development in Port Moresby, but the majority of people in the Provinces are paying the price, not only with cut back in health, education but in badly needed maintenance of roads, infrastructure and as I speak, Church Health Services in Madang are closing as workers have not been paid for 8 fortnights.
    In tourism, the conference market has been diluted as a result of new conference facilities opening in Port Moresby.

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