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Number of cruise ships into PNG predicted to decrease over Coronavirus outbreak

THE number of cruise ships coming into Papua New Guinea  is expected to decrease due to the coronavirus threat in the Asian market, according to Madang businessman Sir Peter Barter.
Responding to questions from The National regarding his views on the country’s tourism industry, Sir Peter said: “With the coronavirus, I would expect a dramatic decrease in cruise ship passengers along with other visitors as there is a general fear the virus could spread further than it has already.”
He said the coronavirus had already devastated the tourism economy worldwide who had become more than 50 per cent reliant on Chinese tourists.
“It has locked down mega cruise ships which are now anchored in quarantine for 14 days and mass cancellations have resulted in both cruise ship and other tourists, including clients that had booked holidays and business trips to PNG,” he said.
“This situation will continue into the future until they come up with an effective vaccine that will ultimately eradicate the virus – this again is indefinite on Chinese tourists.
“There is little doubt that the virus will adversely affect the world economy which includes PNG as China is one of our largest trading partners, this will result in less foreign exchange and increased pressure on kina and an increase in the cost of imports at a time when we already have serious economic problems.”
Sir Peter said the positive side was that it would provide greater incentives for more downstream processing for the country’s natural resources and the manufacturing industry creating greater employment. “The tourism industry is suffering with a downturn in arrivals, many of whom were cruise ship passengers from emerging markets of Asia including China,” he said.
“Many more intending tourists will be deterred from international travel and this is already happening with cancellations from tourists from Japan, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.”
Sir Peter said the Government should be cautious about tourists. The National/Pacific Traveller

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