ADVENTURE tourism operator Village Huts has launched an accommodation and tour booking website aiming to support the Papua New Guinean tourism industry.

Village Huts worked with accommodation and tour service providers within PNG to offer a reliable and secure way of booking accommodation and tours in the country, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) said.

About 95 per cent of homestays and guest houses do not have their own website and lack promotional tools to market their product, according to PNGTPA.

The website marks a milestone in the partnership between Village Huts and the Australian government through its flagship program for private sector development in the Indo Pacific region, the Market Development Facility (MDF).

Australia is helping Village Huts to widen the network of huts, guest houses and activity-providers registered on the website through the MDF.

The group is also promoting this network to a larger client base domestically and internationally, PNGTPA said.

Australian High Commission counsellor (governance) Josie McAllister said the website would usher in new avenues for tourists to access places and activities in PNG, boosting numbers to existing tourist destinations as well as encouraging visits to different destinations.

Partnerships with businesses like Village Huts helped access quality tourism experiences that will boost the PNG tourism sector, she said.

Village Huts director Pamela Christie said the platform helped tourists access alternative service providers in PNG.

“There is a growing number of accommodation and activity providers catering to adventure tourists, yet they lack proper exposure,” she said.

“Adventure tourists intending to visit PNG normally approach overseas tour operators to arrange travel packages.”

“These operators are limited in number and have limited visibility online, which restricts growth of tourism,” she said.