BY DAN JORDAN
Independent research conducted for the joint PNG-Australian government Kokoda initiative has shown that most trekkers felt the experience exceeded their expectations. Tour operators reported strong bookings ahead of Anzac Day.
Vera Huntink, sales and marketing manager for the PNG Tourism and Promotion Authority in Australia and New Zealand said the increase in visitor numbers is a result of improvements on the track.
"Over the last two years significant work has gone into raising standards along the track, encouraging community engagement and giving back to communities. This has improved trekker safety and experiences along the track.
“Research shows that word of mouth has the biggest impact on trekker numbers, so when trekkers are having goods experiences and the news is positive, this translates directly into increased bookings," she said.
Major improvements on the track have been conducted by the Kokoda Track Authority since 2008, with the support of the Australian and PNG governments.
Source: The West Australian