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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 26, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---A two-day national tourism forum will be held next month in Madang to coincide with PNG's 25th anniversary Silver Jubilee Celebration.

The forum, to be hosted by the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, is aimed at assessing tourism growth and development over the past 25 years and developing practical resolutions to improve the state of the industry.

Among matters to be discussed will be the marketing and promotional role of industry members and the concept of re-establishing an industry association so the tourism industry can speak out as one voice.

Funding, resource backup roles of the media and improvement of standards and services provided also will be high on the agenda.

There will also be an awards night at which the TPA will present achievement awards to industry members in recognition of their contributions and assistance over the years.

The forum will be jointly sponsored by Air Niugini, Madang Resort Hotel, Smugglers Resort, Jais Aben Resort, Madang Lodge, Coast Watchers and Malolo Plantation Resort.

Apart from the forum, there will also be a small trade show for service providers and suppliers to exhibit their products over the two-day meeting.

These include catering equipment, solar power, food provision, pumps, radio communication, building equipment, furniture and building material.

Participants will include representatives from most hotels, guest houses, village lodges, tour operators, sightseeing operators, airlines, catering companies, financial institutions, media, rental cars suppliers, training institutions, national, provincial and international tourist offices and TPA representatives in Los Angeles and Frankfurt.

The theme of the forum will be "Tourism, Working Together into the Future."

Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta will officially open the forum on July 15.

Acting chairman for PNGTPA, Peter Barter, said it was necessary to hold such a forum for members and associates of the industry so they could get together and assess their current standings and to look at means and ways of increasing the tourism flow into PNG.

Mr. Barter said tourism has been around in Papua New Guinea for more than 25 years, but very little has been achieved in terms of growth and expansion.

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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