Tourism in Papua New Guinea— like many other islands globally— is becoming big business. With travellers seeking out remote, unique and beautiful experiences— and the influx of business visitors to PNG— the region is thriving off the backbone of tourism and has set big targets for the future.

The number of international arrivals into PNG has grown steadily over the past decade, from 69,200 in 2005 to more than 198,600 last year. Business travellers represent most this growth (61.4%), however the global demand for rare and historically driven travel experiences is further fuel to the fire— with PNG being named one of the National Geographic’s Traveller’s 21 “Best of the World Destinations” for 2017 and 27.2% of all visitors coming to the region for holidaying purposes.


The main source markets for business travel to the region are Australia, New Zealand and China— with Australia accounting for upwards of 60% of the influx. When it comes to holiday travel, Australia still represents the majority, but PNG is also becoming a favourable destination for those travellers from the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

This year The Papua New Guinean Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) will complete the development of a 10-year master plan with the objective of creating a sustainable tourism industry. The TPA strongly believe that growing and nurturing a solid tourism industry will be greatly beneficial for the region, as it will result in greater economic development and higher employment.


To achieve their aims throughout the initiative, the TPA has put emphasis on increasing international awareness of PNG as a tourist destination. To do this, they opened promotional offices around the world in their strong source markets, such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Sydney, Munich and London. In February 2015, they expanded on this and opened an office in Shanghai.


This new office aims to cater to the massive potential in the Chinese leisure tourism market. Although only 4% of the Chinese population have passports, this number is expected to grow by 100 million over the next decade—making middle-class Chinese travellers a huge growth market and opportunity.

Additionally, Port Moresby will host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, putting a significant international focus on the region and attracting thousands of visitors and delegates.

When considered holistically, it’s clear that if PNG continues to strategically build and develop its’ tourism framework— the industry will prosper—guaranteeing economic growth and lower unemployment.

Gudmundur (Gummi) Fridriksson, is the CEO of Paga Hill Development Company (PNG) Ltd, overseeing the development of Paga Hill Estate, a world-class, master planned estate located in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Gudmundur first arrived in Papua New Guinea over 20 years ago and is passionate about sharing PNG’s natural beauty and diverse cultures with the world. Find out more about Gudmundur Fridriksson on his website: and about the Paga Hill Estate development at

Images via the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority

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