PNG TOURISM MINISTER RAPS NEW AIRPORT FEES

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 30) – Culture and Tourism Minister Nick Kuman is seething over the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to increase the international departure tax and slap K10 on domestic passengers leaving Port Moresby.

He told reporters at Jackson’s Airport yesterday, after arriving from a tourism conference from overseas, that CAA’s decision to double the terminal facilities charge fee to K60 for departing international passengers and charge K10 on domestic passengers flying out of Port Moresby was "illogical".

Mr Kuman said he had written a letter to Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye to protest the taxes.

"While one hand, the Government is doing everything to lure in the tourism dollar, the other hand is chasing those very people away," Mr Kuman said.

"I don’t believe that increasing fees to provide for our own inefficiencies is the answer to the many challenges we are faced with."

CAA chief executive Andrew Ogil told the Post-Courier last week that the authority needed money to buy new scanning machines for use at Jackson’s Airport’s domestic and international terminals and to engage a security firm to guard the airport.

"First of all, police are paid to provide security at no additional cost to CAA, why does CAA need to engage private security companies?" Mr Kuman asked.

The CAA, in public advertisements published yesterday said the fees would come into effect from Saturday.

Mr Kuman said visitor arrivals in PNG were small and the increase in fees would not improve tourist numbers.

He urged the CAA to utilize facilities at the Jackson’s Airport by building restaurants and duty-free shops to raise money.

Mr Kuman said PNG-bound tourists would be discouraged to travel here by the prospect of paying high visa fees unlike other Pacific countries like Fiji and Cook Islands. 

"People say ‘how much’ and find out the Government decides to increase the fees and they say ‘never mind’. Probably I go down to Australia or Fiji or Cook Islands."

CULTURE and Tourism Minister Nick Kuman is seething over the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to increase the international departure tax and slap K10 on domestic passengers leaving Port Moresby.

He told reporters at Jackson’s Airport yesterday, after arriving from a tourism conference from overseas, that CAA’s decision to double the terminal facilities charge fee to K60 for departing international passengers and charge K10 on domestic passengers flying out of Port Moresby was "illogical".

Mr Kuman said he had written a letter to Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye to protest the taxes.

"While one hand, the Government is doing everything to lure in the tourism dollar, the other hand is chasing those very people away," Mr Kuman said.

"I don’t believe that increasing fees to provide for our own inefficiencies is the answer to the many challenges we are faced with."

CAA chief executive Andrew Ogil told the Post-Courier last week that the authority needed money to buy new scanning machines for use at Jackson’s Airport’s domestic and international terminals and to engage a security firm to guard the airport.

"First of all, police are paid to provide security at no additional cost to CAA, why does CAA need to engage private security companies?" Mr Kuman asked.

The CAA, in public advertisements published yesterday said the fees would come into effect from Saturday.

Mr Kuman said visitor arrivals in PNG were small and the increase in fees would not improve tourist numbers.

He urged the CAA to utilize facilities at the Jackson’s Airport by building restaurants and duty-free shops to raise money.

Mr Kuman said PNG-bound tourists would be discouraged to travel here by the prospect of paying high visa fees unlike other Pacific countries like Fiji and Cook Islands. 

"People say ‘how much’ and find out the Government decides to increase the fees and they say ‘never mind’. Probably I go down to Australia or Fiji or Cook Islands."

October 30, 2003

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

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