Two of the states’ economic agencies – Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), have formally joined hands to deliver a new tourism product to lure tourists into the country.
The new product is called Geo-Tourism. The heads of the two agencies Philip Samar Managing Director of the MRA, and Jerry Agus Chief Executive Officer of the TPA, signed a memorandum of understanding on March 14, to collaborate to develop this product by sharing expertise and resources.
Under the MOA among other things, the MRA will provide geological maps, atlases and descriptions of significant geological features to promote geo-conservation and protection of critical landscapes (geo-heritages) and develop geoscience education and communication.
The TPA will provide leadership in building, providing and managing Geo-tourism sites, systems and other administrative functions. The TPA will also take a leading role in the mobilization of relevant stakeholders such as land owners, local level government, national government departments, businesses and NGOs, in developing these sites.
Both leaders said they were excited and were looking forward to the new venture between the two agencies.
The Geo-Tourism concept capitalises on the country’s tropical and natural geographical landscapes including rocks, caves and springs, which carry unique historical stories such as origins and formation. The idea is to survey and identify these distinctive features, research and write about the scientific aspects behind their formation, and present them as tourism products.
Besides the concept being an opportunity to earn direct revenue for local communities and villagers in terms of tourism Kina, it will be the first for concerned communities to appreciate the science behind how their villages and surrounding environment was formed.
Minister Isifu responded by saying he would return to the province and see if the disaster management team can include MRA in its relief assistance efforts.
Photo caption: (L-R) CEOs Agus and Samar at the signing ceremony.