Village Huts to boost numbers for local tour operators in PNG
Village Huts, a local adventure and backpacker tourism operator earlier in March this year launched a new accommodation and tour booking website, www.villagehuts.com today, supported by Australia.
The new website is expected to boost tourist numbers to existing visitor destinations, open up new and unexplored tourist destinations and increase incomes for villages and communities located in tourist operator sites.
In launching the website, Australian High Commission Counsellor (Governance) Ms Jodie McAlister said the website would usher in new avenues for tourists to access the wonderful places and activities on offer in Papua New Guinea.
Village Huts works with accommodation and tour service providers within PNG to offer a reliable and secure way of booking accommodation and tours in the country. About ninety-five percent (95%) of homestays and guest houses do not have their own website and lack promotional tools to market their product.
Though the Market Development Facility, Australia is helping Village Huts to widen the network of huts, guest houses and activity-providers registered on the website. It is also working to promote this network to a larger client base domestically and internationally.
At the launch, Village Huts Director Ms Pamela Christie said: “There is a growing number of accommodation and activity providers catering to adventure tourists, yet they lack proper exposure. A platform like ours gives tourists access to the different service providers in the country.”
“Adventure tourists intending to visit PNG normally approach overseas tour operators to arrange travel packages. These operators are limited in number and have limited visibility online, which restricts growth of tourism in the country,” she added.
Ms McAlister said: “Australia is pleased to support this initiative which is giving accommodation and tour service providers in Papua New Guinea an online space which could significantly bolster tourist numbers.”
Partnerships with innovative businesses like Village Huts, are essential to enable access to quality and authentic tourism experiences that will boost this emerging and important sector in the country,” he said.
The new website marks an important milestone in the partnership between Village Huts and the Australian Government through its flagship program for private sector development in the Indo Pacific region, the Market Development Facility (MDF).