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Papua New Guinea Has Poor Tourist Facilities

By: Douglas Scott

Papua New Guinea is a developing country in the Southwest Pacific. The capital is Port Moresby. Tourist facilities outside major towns are limited.

The Department of State wishes to inform all Americans living in or planning to travel to Papua New Guinea that the country has numerous active volcanoes and is in an earthquake zone.

Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate. Numerous US citizen residents and visitors have been victims of violent crime in recent years and they have sometimes suffered severe injuries.

Car jacking, armed robberies and stoning of vehicles are problems in and around major cities such as Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen, and Goroka, but can happen anywhere.

Pickpockets and bag snatchers frequent crowded public areas.

Hiking or other travel in rural areas and visiting isolated public sites such as parks, golf courses, beaches, or cemeteries can be dangerous.

Individuals travelling alone are at greater risk for robbery or gang rape than are those who are part of an organized tour or under escort.

Visitors to Papua New Guinea should avoid using taxis or buses, known as Public Motor Vehicles and should instead rely on their sponsor or hotel to arrange for taxi service or a rental car.

Road travel outside of major towns can be hazardous because criminals set up roadblocks near bridges, curves in the road, or other features that restrict vehicle speed and mobility.

Visitors should consult with the U.S. Embassy or with local law enforcement officials concerning security conditions before driving between towns.

Travel to isolated places in Papua New Guinea is possible primarily by small passenger aircraft; there are many small airstrips throughout the country.

Security measures at these airports are rare.

Papua New Guinea is not one of your usual tourist destinations. Ill grant you, in fact its known as the last frontier of tourism. However, there are more than two hundred parrot species here including the worlds biggest cockatoo and the worlds smallest, the pygmy parrot.

Most of the population are not employed in the first world sense but work in subsistence agriculture. There is the usual population drift to towns in the unfulfilled hope of wealth and employment. Families have strong bonds, anyone that is employed is very likely to be supporting many family members who are not. In practice this means a uniform level of poverty, few are able to accumulate sufficient wealth to start any sort of business. In spite of vast mineral resources PNG is therefore one of the poorest countries on the planet.

Almost every town however has at least one luxury hotel, islands of wealth and opulence in a sea of poverty, which is now well within the budget of the independent traveller. Less than 50 pounds gets you a double room. Needless to say they are ringed with razor wire, half of the staff is engaged as security guards.

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