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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 23, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Culture and Tourism Minister Andrew Baing has expressed concern over the lack of professionalism demonstrated by the government and airline agencies operating from major airports nationwide.

Mr. Baing said this after the TPA was bombarded with numerous complaints from concerned travelers who have been poorly served by either security guards or airline personnel at domestic and international airports, including Port Moresby, for the past 12 months.

He said those agencies providing these functions at all major airports must exercise proficiency and be more customer conscious when executing their duties.

Mr. Baing said the personnel at major airports were not above the law and should carry out their responsibilities as a service to the traveling public and not act as dictators of people's movements and belongings.

He said that it was an ongoing impediment at airports throughout the country and he would not tolerate its continuation.

"This is happening simply because we are not following the rulebook relating to our functions," he said.

The Minister said that he was unhappy that security at the new Port Moresby international and domestic terminals was low-key, resulting in the members of the public violating no smoking and no chewing of betelnut regulations in designated areas in both terminals.

He said the terminal footpaths were filled with cigarette butts and betelnut stains could be seen in between pillars, which suggested that someone was not performing his/her job effectively.

Mr. Baing said that the airports were the gateways to our provinces. "It is the first impression."

He said that tourists in particular use the terminals as stopovers for their next destination and the good service provided would aid their decision to revisit the country in future.

Mr. Baing said that the TPA had the capacity to conduct customer service and quality assurance training for government and airline personnel.

He said the training required consultation between relevant agencies and the TPA.

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

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