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