admin's picture


Post-Courier Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

April 25, 2000

Papua New Guinea's efforts to improve its overseas image and attract more tourists continues to be undermined each time there is hope of improvement.

The rape of an American tourist on an island off Vanimo is the latest example of the type of serious blow that crime has dealt to the country's tourism industry.

When will all these terrible things stop?

Throughout PNG, there are thousands of genuine people who want to welcome visitors to their villages to see and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings and the warm hospitality of the people.

Unfortunately, there is also a lawless element, which stands ready to destroy every good initiative and, as a consequence, ruin the country's image.

Vanimo is known as a quiet and peaceful town where people enjoy a laid back lifestyle, the sort that is missing in many urban centers such as Port Moresby.

It is also the gateway to Indonesia and other Asian destinations and enjoys a special status in our foreign relations.

But a criminal attack of this type on a woman is a very serious matter indeed.

It calls for the community to work with the police to bring to justice those responsible so that they pay for their crime.

The image of Vanimo and Sandaun Province in general should not suffer unnecessarily because of the stupidity of three men who do not deserve to enjoy freedom with the rest of the community.

This attack is the latest of many rapes committed against foreign women who were visitors to PNG over the years.

It does nothing for the country except to invite bad publicity, which deters others from visiting PNG.

Tourism as an industry has a great potential if only we can contain violent crimes of this type.

Until that happens, like we have said in the past, tourists will be well advised to go where they can enjoy their holidays with less concern for their own safety . . . and that does not mean Papua New Guinea.

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

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment