The Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) and the National Capital District Commission (NCDC), along with more than 20 PNG participants from the public and the private sector, have concluded a seven-day international China roadshow to promote PNG as a prime tourism destination.

A total of 21 participating organizations, including four government agencies and 17 tourism operators, reported successful engagements and promising leads. The productive interactions throughout the event showed a strong interest for collaboration between PNG and Chinese tourism stakeholders.

Participants included representatives from PNGTPA, the National Capital District Commission (NCDC), the National Gaming Control Board (NGCB)Beijing Kumul ConsularAir Niugini Hong Kong GSA, and various tour operators and accommodation service providers. This diverse group worked together to showcase PNG’s tourism potential and establish strong connections with Chinese agents and wholesalers.

The China Ready Roadshow, held in the cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, received overwhelmingly positive feedback from a total of 117 Chinese agents and wholesalers, with 45 visitors in Shenzhen on Tuesday 18th June and 72 in Guangzhou on Thursday 20th June during the B2B exchange events.

The event commenced with a presentation led by TPA’s Executive Manager for Marketing and Promotions, Joel Keimelo and TPA’s Videographer, John Vaii, who highlighted the unique attractions and experiences PNG offers – pertinent to Papua New Guinea’s destination brand – A Million Different Journeys, simultaneously  capturing the attention of the Chinese audience.

Participants on the roadshow also experienced cultural and city tours around Shenzhen and Guangzhou, which strengthened cultural ties and enriched their overall experience. These tours allowed the participants to immerse themselves in the local culture and landscape, enhancing the connection between the two countries.

China Travel Online’s CEO, Dr. Marcus Lee, who is a facilitator of the China Ready program emphasized the invaluable lessons learned during the event.

“The China Ready Roadshow has taught valuable lessons on market entry and positioning. If a destination is China Ready, then they are ready for any market,” said Dr Lee.

Dr. Lee also commended the efforts of TPA and various other organizations who ensured that the event was a success.

“With strategic planning, effective execution, and continuous follow-up, PNG is poised to unlock its tourism potential,” said Dr Lee.

TPA’s Executive Manager for Marketing and Promotions, Joel Keimelo, shared his insights on the event’s impact and future prospects.

“The China Ready Roadshow not only promoted PNG as an attractive tourist destination but also laid the groundwork for future partnerships and growth in the Chinese market. Focus was also given to Port Moresby as the gateway to the country and with direct flights from Guangzhou (with China Southern Airlines) and Hong Kong (with Air Niugini) respectively, we will certainly see Chinese travellers to PNG.

The Chinese market, characterized by a preference for leisure and soft adventure activities, presents vast opportunities for PNG. However, addressing specific needs such as visa requirements, direct flight routes, and cost-effective airfares remains crucial and also ensuring translation services and meeting Chinese tourists’ preferences are vital steps toward a successful market entry,” said Keimelo.

Keimelo further elaborated on the structured approach adopted by PNGTPA.

“The China Ready Program, adopted by the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), is making significant strides in preparing PNG for an influx of Chinese visitors. The program follows a four-stage process: Destination Audit, Industry Workshop, Accreditation, and Distribution. This structured approach is designed to ensure that PNG becomes visitor-ready not only for the Chinese market but also for other international tourists,” said Keimelo.

Addressing one of the key challenges faced during the roadshow, Keimelo highlighted the team’s efforts to overcome the language barrier.

“One of the key challenges addressed during the roadshow was the language barrier. To overcome this, the team organized translations of brochures and business cards and ensured that translators were available at each table during the B2B sessions. This initiative facilitated clear communication and helped Chinese agents better understand PNG’s tourism offerings,” said Keimelo.

TPA’s CEO, Eric Mossman, highlighted the significant progress and future steps for PNG’s tourism industry.

“Through these strategic efforts, TPA is effectively positioning Papua New Guinea as a prime destination for Chinese tourists, ensuring that the country meets the specific needs and preferences of this growing market,” said Uvovo.

He emphasized the importance of understanding and catering to the unique requirements of Chinese travellers to enhance their experience in PNG. Uvovo also outlined the roadmap for maintaining this momentum.

“Following the successful roadshow, the next steps involve nationwide destination audits, workshops, and accreditation to ensure comprehensive readiness across PNG. Establishing a Destination Marketing  Representative (DMR) office in China is under consideration to maintain connections and support ongoing promotional efforts,” Uvovo explained.

Looking ahead, TPA’s focus will be on several key initiatives. Firstly, the organization is committed to implementing a comprehensive China Digital Marketing Plan to effectively reach and engage Chinese travellers. 

Secondly, exploring the establishment of a dedicated TPA China Office to strengthen PNG’s presence and support in the Chinese market. Additionally, TPA will also be implement a PNG-CHINA Tourism Year 2025, marking the 50th anniversary of Papua New Guinea’s independence. This initiative aims to celebrate PNG’s cultural richness and strengthen bilateral tourism ties between PNG and China. ◼️

📸 Above banner image: Papua New Guinea tourism roadshow participants in Guangzhou, China, June 2024. 

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