Time for PNG Women to take the lead on Kokoda Tourism

The recent humiliation of Kokoda tourism management in the PNG National Court has lifted the scab off a web off insidious political agendas, the use of aid-for-influence, nepotism, incompetence and corruption within the DFAT funded Kokoda Initiative network.

The common denominator in the web is . . . MEN!

The Kokoda Track Authority Board of Directors are all . . . MEN!

The Kokoda Initiative Committee appointed by the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change are all . . . MEN!

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Database Evaluation of the Kokoda Tourism Industry: 2003-2019

Official data, based on the number of Trek Permits issued by the Kokoda Track (Special Purpose) Authority (KTA), reveals that villagers across the Kokoda Trail have suffered a cumulative loss of K49.7 million in foregone income opportunities since the DFAT-Kokoda Initiative assumed responsibility for its management in 2009.   A Kokoda Livelihoods Study by Pacific Islands Projects revealed the DFAT-Kokoda Initiative allocates just 1% of their budget to ‘income generating projects’ for villagers across the Trail.

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The Kokoda Trail: Environment Vs Tourism

Prior to the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign in 1992 tourists rarely trekked across the Kokoda Trail. An Anzac trek led by Major Charlie Lynn on the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign reawakened Australia’s interest and generated some rare positive publicity for Papua New Guinea. Over the next few years Charlie’s Kokoda treks featured positive stories in every major television and media network throughout Australia – this led to a surge in interest in trekking across the Trail.

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