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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 2) - Villagers in the North Waghi District of Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands province have been urged to try a hand in eco-tourism.

Last Friday, 20 villagers - three women and 17 men - graduated with certificates in eco-tourism after a weeklong course at Banang Village in North Waghi.

The aim of the workshop was to get people into the industry at the village level.

Training facilitator Francis Steven, who is a trainer for Sepik Village Tourism Training Service, said he told the villagers the basics to kick off their village eco-tourism projects.

Steven said the course participants learnt about owning guesthouses in a cultural setting, tourism marketing, customer services, tour guide, and tourism impact on culture.

He said the province has the potential for tourism but not much has been done to develop the industry, and urged the three levels of government need to put more time, effort and money into it.

Reverend Frank Kogi, one of the participants, said they were eager to get involved in the tourism industry, and would utilize the knowledge gained.

Similar training courses are being planned for other parts of the province later this year.

February 3, 2005

The National:

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