PAPUA New Guinea’s tourism sector is expected to benefit significantly both domestically and internationally from the APEC Leaders’ Summit, according to the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNG TPA).

PNG will host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit and leading up to the event the country will host a range of APEC meetings.

Port Moresby will host to the first APEC meeting, which is the ministers responsible for forestry meeting, held in late-October.

On the International front, PNG’s APEC membership ensures inclusion in tourism initiatives proposed by APEC entities like the Tourism Working Group (TWG).

PNG’s tourism minister joins the TWG and other tourism administrators from other 21 APEC member economies to discuss and develop areas of cooperation on tourism trade and policies, especially those identified in the 2014 Macao Declaration.

Since the formation of the PNG APEC Secretariat through an act of parliament to coordinate APEC activities in PNG, government departments have been heavily engaged in the APEC process.

The Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) is one of many government organisations productively involved in the preparations leading up to the PNG APEC 2018.

Part of TPA’s APEC related projects includes the volunteer program organised by TPA officers Ingrid Kuman, Pamela Hoepel-Aupae and Simon Pih.

A total of 70 screened APEC Volunteers were involved last year in the first batch of meetings held in Port Moresby assisting delegates at the Jacksons airport, Gateway, Ela Beach, Crowne Plaza and Grand Papua hotels, TPA said.

This year 30 volunteers were recruited by TPA for the May meetings in Port Moresby at Laguna Hotel on, this was on policy partnership on women in the economy and human capacity building.

Ms Hoepel-Aupae said she is positive about the effect APEC will have towards tourism in PNG, reporting that many APEC delegates either inquired or actively pursued tourism attractions and activities during their time spent in the country.

Major accommodation developments presently taking place in Port Moresby is expected to support the influx of APEC related travellers into the country, TPA said.

Apart from the nation’s capital, the provinces of East New Britain, Morobe, Madang, Eastern Highlands, Milne Bay andNew Ireland have also been selected to host APEC meetings, offering visitors the chance to experience other parts of PNG.

TPA said it is fortunate to be part of the APEC process and is proud to have a staff member nominated for the PNG APEC Internships leading up to the hosting year in 2018.

TPA officer Ms Kuman, who is in charge of APEC related projects was selected as one of two officers from among the APEC PNG government agencies for the internship.

Ms Kuman is currently completing her internship at the APEC headquarters in Singapore as a senior officer, TPA said.