FEES FOR KOKODA TRAIL TREKKERS SOON

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 8, 1999 – The National)---The Koiari Local Level Government Council (KLLGC) in Central Province will soon be imposing fees on trekkers who want to walk the Kokoda Trail.

The fee will apply to all individuals, including local and overseas tourists, youth groups, church groups, tour groups and firms.

President of the KLLGC in the Central Provincial Assembly, Vovoi Selu, who is also the councilor for Kagi in Mount Koiari along the Kokoda Trail, said the trail was sacred to the people there and it was time they gained from its popularity.

Mr. Selu said the KLLGC thought it necessary to impose the fees to make up for the meager compensation their fathers and grandfathers got as war carriers in the Second World War.

He said how much the fee would be, how it is collected and to where it will be channeled will be decided later this month when the KLLGC sits down for its third assembly meeting of the year.

Four checkpoints will be stationed along the track where passes will be checked to make sure that proper procedures are followed and the trekkers’ presence is known by both Kokoda and KLLGC.

These four checkpoints will be at Kagi patrol post, Efogi village, Manari village and Naoro village in Mount Kaiari area.

Village peace officers will assist at all the checkpoints and be on the lookout for illegal trekkers or trespassers, who will face a fine if caught.

Mr. Selu said the council expects that its internal revenue will be boosted by the project.

He said he has informed the Tourism Promotion Authority, National Culture Commission and other relevant organizations about the intention of the council.

Mr. Selu said the Kokoda LLGC on the Oro Province side of the trail also would be notified about their plans.

He said the project also would ensure drug trafficking along the trail is discouraged.

 

'FEE WILL KEEP TREKKERS AWAY': IMIRI

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 9, 1999 – The National)---The Kokoda Trail should be fully developed before any fees are imposed on tourists and national trekkers, chairman for the Koiari Development Authority (KDA) Garry Imiri said.

Mr. Imiri was responding to the President of the Koiari Local Level Government Council (KLLGC), Vovoi Selu, who announced yesterday that fees would be imposed on tourists, youth groups, church groups and tour groups venturing along the trail.

Mr. Imiri said the fee would keep trekkers away from the trail.

He also said the checkpoints could cause problems between the Kokoda Trail authorities and the people because the villagers were bound to make extra checkpoints to overcharge trekkers.

He said KLGC should improve the trek site first before imposing fees.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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