The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) in collaboration with the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) conducted a week-long in-country workshop (May 13-17) focused on data initiatives and the Digital Measurement and Benchmarking Dashboard under the Pacific Digital Transformation project.  A crucial project focused on collecting and analysing tourism data to make informed decisions for sustainable tourism development.

The PTDI project supports evidence-based planning and decision-making. Its components include the creation of a bi-annual International Visitor Survey (IVS), an annual Business Confidence Index (BCI), and an annual Community Attitude Survey (CAS) report. These reports offer crucial insights into community awareness and attitudes toward tourism.

Papua New Guinea is among the ten countries (including Niue, Cook Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Kiribati, Timor Leste, and FSM-Yap) under the PTDI project aimed at collecting and analysing tourism data, funded by the New Zealand Government. The Digital Measurement and Benchmarking Dashboard Programme plays a vital role in SPTO’s monitoring and evaluation function, which is carried out in three components and sets standards for marketing and sustainable tourism indicators in the Pacific region.

Hosted at the Citi Boutique Hotel, Port Moresby, the workshop drew the participation of fifteen individuals who will be armed with the necessary tools to drive insightful research outcomes within PNG’s tourism sector.

In opening the workshop, PNGTPA’s Executive Manager for the Corporate Affairs Division, Claire Kupo, emphasised the importance of data and research in making informed decisions and developing public policies that contribute to sustainable tourism development in the region.

PNGTPA’s CEO, Eric Mossman Uvovo reiterated the significance of the collaboration with the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) on initiatives like the Pacific Tourism Data Initiative (PTDI) project.

“The recent week-long in-country workshop focused on data initiatives and the Digital Measurement and Benchmarking Dashboard shows the importance of collecting and analyzing tourism data for informed decision-making.

By working together with SPTO and other stakeholders, we are committed to using data-driven insights to drive sustainable tourism development in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific region. Through initiatives like the PTDI project, we aim to enhance our understanding of visitor behavior, preferences, and trends, ultimately shaping a vibrant future for tourism in our country and the region,” said Uvovo.

Echoing similar sentiments SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Cocker also stressed the importance of weaving together the power of data to contribute to informed decision-making and shape a sustainable and vibrant future for tourism in the Pacific.

“SPTO has been very fortunate to conduct an in-country visit to PNG to enhance the proficiency of research officers in utilising statistical analysis software (Survey Monkey, SPSS & NVIVO) through funding from the New Zealand government,” Mr. Cocker said.

“The workshop is pivotal for driving insightful research outcomes within the PNG tourism sector and data collaboration is key within the Tourism Industry Stakeholders in the implementation of the Digital Measurement and Benchmarking Dashboard.”

Workshop participant PNGTPA Research & Statistics Officer Abigail Pangwinyen mentioned that the four-day workshop has greatly enhanced her skills in data analysis in the travel and tourism industry which has enabled her to understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends using the statistical analysis software.

Through conducting workshops and fostering collaborations with local partners, SPTO reaffirms its dedication to advancing sustainable tourism development in both PNG and the broader Pacific region.

Image: Standing from left to right: PTO’s Research & Statistics Manager, Prashil Parkas, TPA’s Research Officer for Domestic, Abigail Pangwinyen, PNG Air’s Marketing & Media Coordinator, Dalai Thomas, TPA’s Senior Partnerships & Industry Liaison Officer, Clare Atava, TPA’s Planning & Project Officer, Murray Variambu, Leo Ameua from the Central Provincial Office, TPA’s Data Analyst, Jephet Keako, PTO’s Senior Research Officer, Rovarovaivalu Vesikula,TPA’s Policy Analyst, Faith Kaupa and Air Niugini’s Executive Manager for Sales and Distribution, Floyd Smith.
Seated from left to right: Executive Manager for PNGTIA, Joybertina Piasinu, Lucy Miro from Kokoda Track Authority, Lavinia Fine Naivalurua from SPTO, Henna Esela from POM Business College, Imelda Atu from UPNG and Monalisa Kamuri from POM Business College during the conclusion of the workshop in Port Moresby.

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