Papua New Guinea is the custodian of battlesites which cost the lives of thousands of young men from Australia, Japan and the United States during the War in the Pacific from 1942-1945.

Since the war many of these sites have been visited by kinfolk on personal pilgrimages to pay their respects to loved ones.

Thus far there has been no effort by the PNG Government to seek the support of the three nations to fund military heritage site plans to commemorate and interpret them.

The emergence of the Kokoda Trail as PNGs most popular tourism destination indicates there is a strong demand for pilgrimage tourism.

But first they must develop a management model that promises to provide a sustainable economic future for the traditional owners of the sites.