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Concern on revised departure tax in PNG

A tour operator in Madang has raised concerns over the revised departure tax, which came into effect on January 1, 2017 and has urged for clarification from the Papua New Guinea government.

The fees were revised from K30 to K114 (US$9 – US$35).

The fees were revised by government early this year with the intent of consolidating government revenue. It is understood this is being applied to tickets purchased by passengers leaving PNG either by air or sea.

Long time Madang resident who is also the owner and operator of the Melanesian Tourist Services (MTS), Sir Peter Barter in a statement said what is not clear to date is what tourists will be affected and how it will be collected.

“What is not clear is what tourists will be affected and how it will be collected.”

“Does this apply to all inbound tourism and exempt cruise ship passengers who in the past have been exempted?

“Despite the fact many cruise ship passengers are not aware they are in PNG and leave little or nothing behind anyway with perhaps the exception of expeditionary cruise ships that remain in PNG for extended periods of time.”

“If the tax is collected, how will the money be used.”

“Will it be used to promote tourism or will it just be another way of providing revenue to fill the holes created by debt and the event of what has been called “prioritisation”, without improving the efficiency of their organisations,” Sir Peter said.

He had questioned that Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang has done to date asserting industry was of the view it would be withdrawn.

An official response to this issue had yet to be provided by the Minister and PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA).
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