Caption: Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) chief executive officer Jerry Agua (left), Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Emil Tamur and presenting a gift to departing minister Tobias Kulang.
By Memo Hauke
THE hotspots for tourism in the country are Kokopo and Milne Bay and there is no better person to hold this ministry than the Kokopo MP Emil Tamur to lead this diverse ministry, says Tobias Kulung.
Mr Kulang, the departing minister, said this during the handover-takeover ceremony of the Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture to Mr Tamur at Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby on Wednesday evening.
“This ministry is very important and can contribute to underpinning the economic development and transformation of the country,” Mr Kulang said.
“The industry contributes to 10 per cent on average of the global industry. This remains that it is possible for the ministry to contribute in the same level given that huge potential we have largely untapped.”
Tourism, Arts and Culture has three sub sectors under the Ministry, Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), National Cultural Commission (NCC) and National Museum and Arts Gallery (NMAG).
“During my short time as the minister TPA is clean on its records with all its audits, annual reports up to date,” he said.
“There is clear visibility in what they are doing and easy to work with as a minister. We have achieve some key milestones like bringing the General Secretary for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to the country, securing the first time direct loan funding from leading international financial institution like the World Bank.
“A further confidence is the implementation agency is TPA its procurement systems was reviewed and proven to be acceptable by World Bank.
“We tried to connect with the provinces and allowed them take ownership of product development etc in their respective provinces etc.
“We are also thankful that the National Government has also increased its focus on the industry and increase funding to the section.
“I have serious concerns over the management of NCC and NMAG and the way business is conducted under these two sectors. I have tried my best but time has beaten me. I will leave it to the new Minister to take over and attend to the huge challenges faced by theses two institutions the way he sees fit.
“Despite that you have good people in this ministry. What outcome you get from them will depend on the kind of leadership and vision you provide. The ministry defines our culture and heritage and give colour to our country.”