BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
ADDRESSING infrastructure and development in the country can directly push a way forward to a robust sector of tourism in the country, according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his keynote speech during the Tourism in Focus 2020 held at the heritage park recently.
This goes in line with the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) government’s commitment to building a strong and sustainable economy.
“In terms of DCGA Government’s commitment to improving and developing infrastructure to support tourism growth, the focus of the 2020 budget are on the priority projects such as the submarine cable, international airport upgrade, domestic airport upgrades, the re-establishment of DBSI and the 2023 Pacific Games will have a direct impact by establishing necessary infrastructures.
“Though no direct budgetary support has been extended to tourism, addressing infrastructure improvement and development through the above-mentioned projects will directly address some of the key development priorities for tourism as stated in the National Tourism Development Strategy.
“In a sequential approach, investing in the key support infrastructure will support the growth of our productive sectors including tourism,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
The Hon. Prime Minister said that according to the 2020 budget, the number of policy priorities for 2020 is focused on resourcing the productive and resource sectors, improving the quality of expenditure through targeted investment and work towards building a strong and sustainable economy.
He said DCGA, therefore, they are looking at boosting sectoral growth (including tourism) through this lens.
According to the ‘New Custom and Excise Act’ in the 2020 budget strategy and operational rules, Tourism is amongst the targeted sectors for further reform and consideration for investments in 2020 and onwards.
Development of domestic airports and support expansion of hotel, resort or eco-lodge were the areas mentioned inside, which the government is looking into, in which they will collaborate financing and other mode of support for the two potential tourism development to enhance tourism growth.