Ma­jor events set to boost PNG’S cap­i­tal city

Port Moresby is pre­par­ing to host two ma­jor events in the next three years— the 2015 Pa­cific Games and the 2018 APEC Sum­mit. We ex­am­ine the likely ef­fect on the na­tion's cap­i­tal and PNG’S in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Feature -

Be­tween 4 and 18 July 2015, PNG’S cap­i­tal will be play­ing host to 3000 ath­letes, 500 team of­fi­cials, and 1000 of­fi­cials and dig­ni­taries from 21 neigh­bour­ing coun­tries for the 2015 Pa­cific Games.

Then, in 2018, the 21-na­tion, Asia-pa­cific Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion fo­rum will be held in Port Moresby, bring­ing an es­ti­mated 10,000 vis­i­tors, from prime min­is­ters and pres­i­dents, to of­fi­cials and me­dia.

Pa­cific Games

The 2015 Games is an op­por­tu­nity to re­shape how the world views Pa­pua New Guinea, ac­cord­ing to the CEO of the Games Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee, Peter Ste­wart.

‘Any­one who thinks the 2015 Pa­cific Games is just a sport­ing event is greatly un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the scale, scope and po­ten­tial of this project,’ he says.

Ste­wart says the Games could at­tract more than 4,000 vis­i­tors, whom he wants to re­turn home with sto­ries of how friendly and wel­com­ing PNG is to tourists and busi­nesses.

‘Word of mouth trib­utes from first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence are far more ef­fec­tive than mil­lions of kina spent on ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns,’ he says.

Nearly 300 in­ter­na­tional me­dia per­son­nel will pro­duce sto­ries about PNG in gen­eral, as well as re­port­ing on the Games.

Ste­wart says 1500 hours of broad­cast ma­te­rial pro­duced by the Games Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee will be dis­trib­uted through­out the world across tele­vi­sion, satel­lite, ca­ble, in­ter­net and dig­i­tal phone net­works, and will play an im­por­tant role in chang­ing per­cep­tions of PNG.

Ste­wart says he ex­pects the K1.2 bil­lion be­ing spent on the Games and new fa­cil­i­ties will al­low PNG to at­tract other ma­jor sport­ing, cul­tural and busi­ness events.

‘Th­ese ma­jor events fur­ther en­hance the rep­u­ta­tion of the na­tion and con­tinue the pro­mo­tion strat­egy, while also at­tract­ing im­por­tant over­seas in­vest­ment in the form of ho­tel beds and restau­rants filled, not to men­tion work for lo­cal com­pa­nies to sup­port th­ese events.’

Some 200 lo­cal com­pa­nies will pro­vide goods and ser­vices to the 2015 Pa­cific Games.

Hos­pi­tal­ity boost

Room ca­pac­ity through­out the city is in­creas­ing as a num­ber of new ho­tels have been built, in­clud­ing the TST Group’s La­guna Ho­tel, two new R H Group ho­tels—the Rain­tree at Vi­sion City in Waigani and an air­port ho­tel—and an ex­pan­sion to the Hol­i­day Inn ho­tel at Waigani.

A new hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing fa­cil­ity has also opened in Port Moresby. The Australia Pa­cific Tech­ni­cal Col­lege, in con­junc­tion with TAFE Queens­land and Coral Sea Ho­tels, will of­fer trade level qual­i­fi­ca­tions in com­mer­cial cook­ery, com­mer­cial cater­ing, bak­ery, patis­serie and hos­pi­tal­ity op­er­a­tions.

APEC fo­rum

The PNG Gov­ern­ment has set up the APEC PNG 2018 Co-or­di­na­tion Author­ity, which will plan and im­ple­ment the lo­gis­tics and fa­cil­i­ties re­quired to ac­com­mo­date the event.

‘If the lo­gis­tics for Pa­pua New Guinea’s APEC events are not prop­erly planned and im­ple­mented, pol­icy out­comes will be un­der­mined and our na­tional rep­u­ta­tion tar­nished,’ Prime Min­is­ter Peter O’neill has said.

‘Full APEC pro­to­cols and ar­range­ments will be fol­lowed in pre­par­ing for this event that will cover del­e­gate ac­com­mo­da­tion, meet­ing venues, hos­pi­tal­ity and del­e­gate safety and se­cu­rity.’

A num­ber of APEC lead-up events will test Port Moresby’s readi­ness be­tween now and 2018.

Con­ven­tion cen­tre

The Fo­rum it­self will be held at a new Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Waigani, which is un­der con­struc­tion as a gift

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