Papua New Guinea is set to add a new product onto its existing list of tourists’ attractions and products.
The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) and the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) have begun initial discussions on the concept of Geo-Tourism as a new product development initiative. This is an addition to the traditional tourism products such as culture, diving, surfing and bird watching among others.
The two agencies will soon sign an MOU to cooperate in developing the concept. Officials from the two agencies have had several meetings to agree on the details of the MOU.
The 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. In addition some of these features may have cultural significance. Not only will these features and their stories be able to attract tourists for leisure and entertainment purposes, but they are also natural habitats that can be used to provide training and educational opportunities for researchers, students and surrounding communities to learn about the environment they live in.
The pilot project will be developed initially in the National Capital District, Central and the East New Britain provinces after the first quarter.
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.
MRA Geologists examining the Boera Palaentological Research site as part of the geo tourism initiative. The idea is to classify the area as a hub for tourists, geological researchers, students and communities. This site is normally used by the University of PNG Geology school for determining depositional environments for study purposes.