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Security affecting tourism potentials in PNG

Japanese Ambassador to PNG, Satoshi Nakajima, says safety continues to be a major issue affecting the number of Japanese tourists arriving in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Nakajima said this when asked to comment on the tourism potential he has seen since he took up his posting in the country in March last year.
Despite this, he described the country’s potential in the sector as huge.
Apart from China’s enormous outbound tourist figures of more than 100 million in the last few years, Japan boasted an impressive 16.4 million outbound tourists in 2017.
In his first year, the Mr Nakajima visited parts of the four regions in the country and expressed how impressed he is with the natural resource base and what it has to offer to the tourists from Japan.
He regretted what he described was a small number of tourists that are able to visit, and emphasised security as an area that continues to contribute to the number.
“Papua New Guinea is a very big country rich in culture and resources. Regrettably the number of Japanese tourists coming here to Papua New Guinea is not so much.
“I travelled to Wewak and Kokopo, Kimbe, Mt Hagen, Lae, Pomio. When I travelled to Kokopo and the others I saw the huge potential in promoting tourism.
“Firstly it is some locations like Kokopo that are safe to stay, but it is places like Port Moresby that is not so safe,” he said.
He said numbers were increasing in safer destinations around the country that Japanese citizens are travelling to.
“I think that Papua New Guinea is very huge and there are a lot of differences in various places in the country,” he said.
Mr Nakajima is a well travelled diplomat who has served around the world in countries such as England, Vietnam, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands before taking up his current post in PNG.
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