Monday, December 07, 2009

Global call for tourism ambassadors for Papua New Guinea

By Malum Nalu and Barry Greville-Eyres (self appointed PNG Tourism Ambassadors)

This home-grown marketing initiative unveiling PNG’s unique tourism attributes and experiences as The Last Wild Frontier with a Million Different Journeys will make extensive use of electronic communication and media (linked and interconnected email, websites, social networks and blogs) in order to select PNG’s inaugural cohort of global Tourism Ambassadors. It’s an opportunity to venture into relatively uncharted terrain for PNG - experimenting with modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and how they can combine to provide low cost yet highly effective product development and marketing within an emerging tourism industry. The intention is to use existing ICT infrastructure thus reducing development costs.

The initiative will require sector-wide involvement (including traditional and non-traditional players) since tourism has the very real potential to touch the lives of all communities – rural and urban alike. De-mystifying tourism as socio-cultural and bio-physical resource-based growth and development opportunity, primarily for its Papua New Guinean custodians, is central to the initiative. This will require significant tourism awareness and education, enabling PNG women and men to engage meaningfully in the industry. 

Narrative Description:

Highly accomplished individuals (up to a maximum of 12) will be invited to express an interest on-line (through an existing website or an appropriate link) for the unique privilege to become one of an elite group of Tourism Ambassadors representing and promoting PNG for a period of up to three years (first cycle followed by a new cohort thereafter).

Eligibility Criteria:

·       Internationally acclaimed expert and personality with an interest and passion in developing and marketing Papua New Guinea as The Last WILD Frontier offering a million different journeys  ....

·       Willingness to travel to PNG annually (for three consecutive years) for up to 14 days at a time within which the expert will explore and indulge, primarily but not exclusively, in his/her area of expertise within the country;

·       Promote his/her in-country experiences widely (using electronic and print media as well as ICT including personal websites/blogs);

·       Aspiring Ambassadors will have to align themselves with a range of tourism market segments which will include:

§         Community-based tourism;

§         Eco-tourism;

§         Cultural tourism;

§         Qua water-based tourism;

§         Terrestrial tourism;

§         Extreme – adventure tourism;

§         Science and history tourism;

§         Culinary tourism (food & drink);

§         Tourism economics;

§         Tourism education; and

§         Others??? 

Costs:

A cost sharing arrangement where various tourism stakeholders, will in return for exposure, marketing and promotions received, provide a range of in-kind services in return ie Air Nuigini, Coral Seas and other resort hotels, packages provided by specialist tour operators etc.....

Purpose of initiative:

·        Create a uniquely branded marketing & communications ‘strategy’ to promote PNG, specifically its relatively pristine and mystical tourism features & attributes in a responsible manner;

·        Offset the PNG resource boom and its associated developmental challenges with responsible and measured tourism development in PNG that will directly contribute to local economic development and prosperity; 

·        Research, teaching and learning – thorough documentation of experiences & successes/failures; 

·        Explore the reach, impact and utility of contemporary information and communication technology in a developing country such as PNG;

·        Demonstrate that strategic partnerships and alliances can and do work;

·        Build capacity, a national brand – identity - pride and confidence  - we can do this together....

·        Attach a value, appreciation and awe of being able to offer an experience so unique, so special unparalleled elsewhere;

·        Get product information out there.....

·        Internationalise PNG ... ... PNG no longer the last Australian outpost ... PNG has a distinct heritage, brand, products, experiences  - also work on the mis(perception) that PNG is unsafe – perhaps you can be more diplomatic about this....;

·        Develop and vibrant and viable tourism industry linking development that is environmental sustainable – friendly

·        Integrated economic development – agro tourism etc......

·        Market some of PNG’s unique attributes – that differentiate PNG from any other destinations in the world – PNG’s people, culture, agriculture – Highland – coastal cultures and environments.... volcanoes, geological instability ...the last WILD Frontier ...etc....

Picture this.....  Jamie Oliver cooking up a storm on a Kavieng Beach ...... doing the same in the mountains of Simbu ....... 

 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Malum,

    Thanks for sharing this. A word of caution - I think the best thing right now is consolidation of existing endeavours - eg. Kokoda Trail, Shows - Hagen etc, surfing, diving, upgrade redundant airstrips, etc and back up the in-country tour operators/hotel and guesthouse owners and other tourism supporting entreprenuers to get into modern communication technology and do this themselves. Why do we have to keep on looking outside for people to promote tourism in/for PNG? Let's put all that money into investing in our own people in-country to develop strategic partnerships and alliances in their own field of tourism...this will see and nurture an organic growth of international tourism promoters within PNG. They should be given the oppportunity to be PNG's frontline 'tourism ambassadors'. Apply this idea to Papua New Guineans who are already in the business or who are interested, willing and able to get into the tourism industry. Promote our own people and they WILL promote PNG. No need to keep on paying someone else. I don't buy the expertise argument - they just have a bigger pocketbook and a wide reach only...our own people have the whole package except the size of their pocketbook - this is the crux of this issue. Sorry but I am sick and tired of overlooking Papua New Guineans and settling for half-baked so called experts on PNG. Tourism is a grassroots industry and should be promoted as such...this is PNG's comparative advantage and who better to promote that than its own people already inside the industry itself. If the developers of this initiative want to see the tourism experts and promoters in PNG they will definitely see them but if they don't want to, they won't see them - simple! I say, market PNG to its own people, by its own people, with its own people first - that is where the sustainability of the industry lies. Get this foundation right then the international marketing will follow and be less of a marketing ordeal and nightmare. We've got to find the trigger within PNG. This initiative - whilst it looks sexy and good on the surface is fraught with some obvious dangers that should never be allowed to repeat themselves. I have grave doubts about it. For starters - if it doesn't work or is unsustainable they will be blaming it on lack of money...same old same old. How boring - back to square one - and the vicious cycle goes on.
    These are my views on this initiative.
    Cheers,
    Mari

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