Safety and reforms could reinvigorate tourism, says PNGTPA

Welcome,

Eric Mossman has stepped into the country’s top tourism job as the Chief Executive Officer of the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), and he may be the man to lift it out of the COVID-19 downturn.

PNGTPA Eric Mossman

PNGTPA’s Eric Mossman. Credit: Godfreeman Kaptigau

It’s a tough time for the tourism industry, with the PNGTPA identifying that 90 per cent of tourist businesses have been affected by the downturn in visitor numbers because of COVID-19.

But Mossman has good credentials in the industry and may be just the man to lift it out of its mire. He joined the PNGTPA in 2009 as a Project Officer, was promoted to Senior Project Officer, then Director of Policy and Planning, and later Director of Corporate Service.

How are you planning to invigorate tourism?

Eric Mossman: Our marketing team has come up with a plan to develop tourism in the remote communities. We’re also looking at the potential of the domestic tourism market.

The first step we are working on is a ‘safe travellers’ guide’, which we will run by the Pandemic Controller’s office. We’re trying to roll this out quickly to get some movement.

‘Tourism here needs support from the government and industry, and we need leadership to drive it forward.’

What are your goals as CEO?

Mossman: I would like to bring about reform in the Tourism Promotion Authority Act. It’s a significant piece of legislation that needs a lot of work. At the moment, it is under consultation with the industry and government. I’d also like to establish a National Tourism Master Plan to guide the industry forward. The potential of PNG’s tourism industry PNG remains one of the last frontiers in everything – if you look at our flora and fauna, our people and culture, we have it all; it has not been explored fully. But tourism here needs support from the government and industry, and we need leadership to drive it forward.

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What can you tell us about the importance of cruise ships…

Mossman: They have ceased operations because of COVID-19 and this has had a huge impact on the industry. Going forward, we are also developing a cruise ship strategy with PNG Ports and looking into that space on how we can harness that potential.

And what about Kokoda and future plans…

Mossman: Kokoda remains one of the biggest ground attractions that we have in the country and is the biggest drawcard that we have from our key source market, Australia.

TPA will be working in partnership with the Kokoda Track Authority, the Australian Government and the governors on both sides (Oro and Central provinces) to maintain the track and ensure that the resource custodians receive the benefits they are entitled to.

Where would you like to spend your next holiday in PNG?

Mossman: I’ve never seen Bougainville, so I would love to go there. And maybe Manus Island – those are two places I’d go for a holiday.

This story was first published in the April issue of PNG Now, PNG’s leading lifestyle magazine.

Comments

  1. TiaNumu Enavera Ario says

    Mr Eric Mossman the thrue leader I trust. He is seen fit to occupy the office office TPA CEO. Man of knowledge which PNG need more people like Mr. Mossman.

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