Tourism research centre planned

Divine Word University (DWU) has been tasked to set up a national tourism and hospitality research centre for Papua New Guinea.

Minister for Tourism, Art and Culture the Honourable Tobias Kulang made the announcement for DWU to be the host of the research centre during a visit to the Madang campus on Friday 28th October, 2016.

Mr Kulang met DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou and her senior executive team and staff of the Tourism and Hospitality Management Department led by its head of department Ms Theresia Kau and had initial discussions on how the research would be implemented. He also presented K100,000 (one hundred thousand kina) to DWU to begin the ground work.

Mr Kulang said the aim of the centre is to build tourism and hospitality and be the hub of all tourism information in the country.

Minister Kulang said although Tourism and Hospitality Industry generated only two percent of the national revenue this can improve with appropriate interventions.

He said that there was huge potential for the industry to generate more revenue however policies of the industry have to be realistic and supported by research findings.

Minister Kulang said universities have the capacities to drive research in different sectors such as tourism and hospitality.

He said that DWU was chosen because of its pioneering tourism and hospitality program in which skilled tourism experts are educating future tourism and hospitality managers.

He said the university can work in partnership with other key agencies in the industry to establish and run the centre.

Prof Nembou thanked the Minister for involving DWU and said that the plan aligns with the university’s emphasis on active research.

She said that the relevant members of the University would meet and discuss how to take this plan forward.

Mr Kulang said there are plans to establish four (4) regional tourism bureaus (RTBS) in the country. The sites chosen for the region bureaus are Alotau (Southern), Madang (Momase), Kokopo (Islands) and Mt Hagen (Highlands).

This is the second time that the Member of Parliament for Kundiawa-Gembogl electorate visited the Madang campus.

Last year, Mr Kulang (then not yet a minister) was the keynote speaker for the 8th annual Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo hosted by the DWU Tourism and Hospitality Management Department.