JUSTIN Tkatchenko has taken over the helm of Papua New Guinea’s tourism industry as the new minister for tourism arts and culture.

Mr Tkatchenko took up his ministerial appointment in January 2016.

Since then he has met with the four national agencies operating under the ministry: the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), Office of Tourism Arts and Culture, National Cultural Commission and the National Museum and Art Gallery.

PNGTPA joined its sister agencies in providing Mr Tkatchenko with a brief of the organisations responsibilities, projects and plans for the year ahead.

As the agency responsible for marketing PNG as a desirable tourist destination, PNGTPA said it will be working closely with the minister in promoting travel to PNG.

PNGTPA acting chief executive Peter Vincent was pleased with the appointment and said he will support the tourism minister.

“The tourism industry is very fortunate to have Justin Tkatchenko as its minister and also delighted to hear that prime minister O’Neill is very supportive of tourism and is keen to see its development in the country.”

During the ministerial briefing Mr Tkatchenko stressed the importance of promoting PNG’s art and culture to the world.

Mr Tkatchenko said is looking forward to working with the national agencies in the ministry to build more exposure for national cultural events.