Cruise Ship Tourists Enjoy Samurai Murua Island Song Music and Dance Festival 2023

Cruise ships have recently been visiting the culturally diverse Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea, with a particular focus on the Samurai Murua Island Song Music and Dance Festival. The Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Isi Henry Leonard, emphasized the significance of cultural festivals in PNG, stating that they provide a huge opportunity for tourism, and that cruise ship tourism is a key part of this.

During a keynote address at the launching of the festival, Minister Leonard explained that tourism has been booming since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, with more cruise ships and tourists now visiting Papua New Guinea than ever before. He shared his observations on the impact of tourism on local cultures, stating that he was surprised to see people in the town of Alotau using American dollar bills to purchase goods and services, thanks to the influx of tourists.

The Minister emphasized the importance of promoting culture by going rural, engaging with the provinces, and promoting local traditions. Executive Director of the National Cultural Commission, Stephen Kilanda, added that the Samurai Murua Island Song Music and Dance Festival has been a huge success, with over 85 participants from other countries registering to attend.

Overall, the visit of cruise ships to Papua New Guinea and the focus on cultural festivals like the Samurai Murua Island Song Music and Dance Festival are important opportunities for the country to showcase its unique culture to the world. The government’s continued efforts to promote cultural tourism and engage with local communities are seen as key to sustaining this growth and creating long-term benefits for the people of Papua New Guinea.

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