PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 18) - The Goroka Coffee Festival is a new way of showcasing Papua New Guinea’s agricultural produce to the world. The enormous success of this festival demonstrates just how much PNG has to offer in terms of its agriculture potential and the quality of commodity products.

There is potential for us to have similar festivals for our other major commodity crops — cocoa, coconut among many.

There is also potential for a fish festival where our village and commercial fishermen showcase the wonders of the sea to the country and the rest of the world.

As the Goroka coffee festival has proven, these shows are great attractions for tourists. They are different from the normal traditional shows which display our colourful dances.

PNG art and craft were also on display in Goroka — as part of a great exhibition.

This is a new direction for PNG and needs to be encouraged in all provinces throughout the country. Tourists want to see a variety of activities and it is up to us to create these new ideas in a nation so richly blessed with great diversity never seen anywhere in the world — let alone the Asia/Pacific region.

We need to work on the negatives that have given our country such a bad image overseas and show the world that tourists who come here can enjoy themselves in peace.

Papua New Guineans know how to look after their visitors and this is one of our great strengths. Many visitors have vouched to the hospitality of Papua New Guineans.

The organizers of the Goroka Coffee Festival have shown us all a new direction — a new way forward — not only of promoting the best of our agricultural produce, but also promoting tourism. The challenge is there for anyone who has a vision to organise similar festivals elsewhere in the country. How about a cocoa festival in Rabaul or a coconut festival in Buka? A fish and crab festival in Kavieng?

The potential is endless. All it takes is someone with the commitment to translate a dream into a great festival.

May 18, 2004

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

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