Source: Post Courier, 20th December 2016
By JEROME IKUAVI
A TOURISM city within Port Moresby is how Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru described the K3 billion Paga Hill Estate development. The development at Paga Hill in Moresby South, driven by private investment, would be a focal point for tourists where they could enjoy, learn and know more about Papua New Guinea, Maru said yesterday. A signing of a memorandum of agreement “for a range of major tourism products” took place yesterday with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, the Government and the developer Paga Hill Development Company. According to the developer, the project has the potential for spin-off tourism to other parts of the country, including the tourism hubs of East New Britain and Milne Bay. With the planned cultural centre showcasing all 21 provinces, tourists to Paga Hill would get an appreciation of the country’s diversity, promoting visits to the rest of PNG. Construction is set to start early 2017 with initial focus on hotel, cultural exhibition and convention centre in time for the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2018 with the entire development to be completed within eight years.
Artist’s impression of the Cultural & Exhibition Centre at the left, and Hotel & Retail Mall at the right on Paga Hill Estate’s waterfront
Paga Hill Development Company chief executive officer Gudmundur Fridriksson said Paga Hill Estate project was the first comprehensively planned mixed-use development of its kind and would have a significant impact on the local economy. He said that the project has the potential of attracting direct foreign investment, creating thousands of jobs in its construction, as well as ongoing operation. Paga Hill Estate would incorporate key tourist infrastructure, including a hotel, resort, cultural centre, war museum, renovated World War II relics, waterfront promenade with retail, marinas, night markets and green space. A cable car would also transport tourists from the Cultural centre up to the Museum on Paga Hill which will be a first for PNG.
Motuan village experience outside the Cultural & Exhibition Centre at Paga Hill Estate’s waterfront
Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang, who signed yesterday to formalise government participation, reiterated that 20 years in the making Paga Hill Estate would eventually comprise residential, commercial, waterfront retail, hotel and cultural elements. “The new project will feature a hub that includes key tourism infrastructure such as hotels, cultural centre, museums and many other tourism products,” Mr Kulang said. He said that PNG had not been competitive enough in the region in terms of infrastructure and products to attract tourists. Mr Kulang said the Government could not build all infrastructure, therefore it was attracting private sector investments through incentive schemes, which in turn created employment and assisted national development. “I believe that this particular development brings all essential elements that will push our agenda for tourism development,” he said.