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Old 02-10-2003, 08:32 AM
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Madang Nature and Community Tourism Pamphlets

Damon Gesengan Guest Village provided the perfect location for the launching of the first ever Madang Nature and Community Tourism pamphlet last Friday.

Located some 18 kilometres out of Madang town, Damon Gesengan is one of 23 locally based nature and community tourism sites in Madang province.

For the first time ever, these organisations have a voice through this pamphlet.

Not only does it bring these sites together to promote and market an alternate type of cheaper accommodation facilities for tourists, it also showcases the Madang people’s social, cultural and environmental diversities.

The wind whistled through the trees and coconut palms, the water lapped lazily against the shore and the friendly residential parrot greeted everyone with a hello from the top of a tree, showing guests at the launching a taste of tourism, the local PNG way.

The Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management of Divine Word University produced the 20-paged pamphlet in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific Ecoregions Centre and the Madang Visitors and Cultural Bureau.

The idea behind the pamphlet is to provide information for people who want to get out of the urban centres and put their money directly into local communities.

Community tourism offers visitors the opportunities to get closer to the local community and experience local life and culture.

Rural PNG may be beautiful but it is a hard place to live. As such the small income communities earn from visitors goes directly to pay school fees, buy medicine and directly improve people’s lives.

It is for this reason that the pamphlet was produced.

Director of World Wildlife Fund Paul Chatterton described the pamphlet as a ‘detailed guide, an almanac that showcases Madang’s nature and cultural beauty.’

The pamphlet gives a general description of Madang province, outlines wildlife management areas, provides information on several cultural attractions such as Dirdid Waterfall Walk and Balek Wildlife Sanctuary and gives the accommodation listing of various community based accommodations in Madang where visitors can stay in order to explore these sites.

The pamphlet also gives snapshots of Madang province, and also contains a back cover fold-out reference map of Madang.

“The Madang Nature and Community Tourism pamphlet offers a number of windows or corridors if you care to survey the scenario.

“It introduces these places and wets the appetite of visitors and enables them to see the rich culture and environment of Madang,” said Mr Chatterton.

He added that there were communities that are protecting their land and environment, (an example is Sinub and Tabad Islands near Madang) and the pamphlet gently alerts people to protect these places.

The acting Deputy British High Commissioner Nichola Murray who officially launched the pamphlet, said no one should say they know a country well without having experienced the culture of the people.
“I do not believe that you can say you know a country until you have experienced the way of life of the people living there.

“Projects like this not only provide an opportunity for visitors to gain first hand experience of the village life but also helps to ensure that the culture and way of life of the villagers are recognised as assets to be protected and preserved for future generations,” Ms Murray said.

Having arrived in the country seven weeks ago, Ms Murray said Papua New Guinea had an unparalleled diversity of cultures, languages and traditions and offered tourists something they could not find anywhere else.

Ms Murray said such a pamphlet aimed to encourage tourism but also aimed to protect the environment and the local communities to ensure that any money generated from tourism was put directly into the communities themselves.

She highlighted undeveloped infrastructure, lack of services, poor advertising and law and order problems as common reasons she has often heard given for PNG’s failure to attract significant number of tourists in recent years.

“Given the short period of time, I have spent in the country, I do not feel qualified to comment on these views.

Acting Deputy British High Commissioner Nichola Murray with copies of the Madang nature and community tourism pamphlet which she launched last Friday:
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:33 AM
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“On the issue of poor advertising, however, I would say that it is my impression that outside of the South Pacific Region, PNG’s profile as a tourist destination was not high,” Ms Murray said.

Such initiatives as the pamphlet was a small yet marketable way to bring in visitors not only to the bigger hotels but to the small tourism communities where tourists learn the culture and enjoy nature that is unique only to PNG.

Tabah Silau, the Executive Director of the Madang Visitors Cultural Bureau, said over the years the bureau had experienced numerous flakes from big time tourist operators in the country as to not promote community based tourism initiatives because they did not meet exceptional quality standards such as hot and cold water system.

Mr Silau said the Keki Eco-tourism lodge was one success story that proved this notion wrong and today it was an internationally renown bird watchers paradise.

He added that many a promotions and marketing undertaken overseas seemed to always target the upmarket range of tourism where the tourists pre-pay overseas, travel freely into the country and their bucks stopped only at the gates of big time hotels.

Mr Silau said the pamphlet would change this trend and attract the type of tourism where money is spent into the broader section of the communities and thus enhance people’s livelihood.

The project and Madang Nature and Community Tourism pamphlet were funded from money provided to the World Wildlife Fund in UK under the terms of a partnership agreement with the UK government’s Department for International Development.

This partnership was established to improve environmental management by governments, civil society and the private sector and to help create a sustainable future.


Divine Word University Tourism students study the pamphlets while relaxing on the jetty at the tranquil Damon Gesengan Guest Village in Madang:
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