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Old 12-11-2002, 12:32 AM
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Pls help me to help PNG
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Port Moresby
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Following Malum Nalu's email, we all received a reply from Benny B. M. Popoitai from the Bank of Papua New Guinea. Here are his comments :

Dear Mr. Nalu,

I have always been a quiet supporter of IPA's activities
in so far as promoting PNG with my contacts both in PNG and outside PNG. Whilst the challenge is ongoing, there are few things I think can be
addressed by our own institutions.

First we need to have a promotional or introductory video on PNG on all flights into PNG.These must be screened, before all inflight entertainment comes on.

Second we must improve our image at first contact with our visitors on arrival. Of late I have noticed that our airport/arrival official's are the most hardfaced customs officials I have come across in my limited travels. Customs officials are the worst. In my view they view each traveller into PNG with contempt, regardless of wheather they are
PNGn's, or visitors.

They make them open their bags to go through to look for dutiable items, inspite of their declaration on the entry forms. It is most embarrassing. It really destroys the persons (traveller) image when
our officials do not trust their declaration. After a long flight everyone
wants to reach their final destination and recouperate, and not create
anxiety and embarrsment to our visitors

The most important form of promotion of image is through the personal contact. We can spend as much we want on promoting our image
but if we do not change our behavoir, all will change for the worst.Many
counties that have tourisim as a significant revenue earner for their
respective countries give their visitors proper respect, and not treat them as we do . Unless the customs officials have information on particular traveller, they do not go through their lugage to look for dutiable items.

In other words they are more careful about the bigger picture and the long run image of the country.If each visitor can bring back good memories amd relate it to 10 of their best friends, they have done the country a service. Out of the 10 friends 3 or 4 might want to come and find out for themselves. The multiplier effect of a change for the better will be enormous.

Why do we worry about K100.00 duty now, and not be more concerned about K6,000 to K10,000, we will discourage from additional visitors into PNG in the future? It seems we cannot see beyound our noses. It is unusual to see a smile on any one of our officials these days.

Finally our entry forms have not been reviewed for many years. Some of the information gathered on the forms seems so irrelevant, that for some of us (patriotic PNGn's) it is really embarrasing. I wonder what a seasoned traveller would think?

I will be sending the same emails to Secratary of Forieign Affairs and Commisioner General, in an attempt to see if something can be done.

Benny B M Popoitai
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