Papua New Guinea’s famed Kokoda Track has welcomed its first trekkers of the season, kick-starting what is expected to be a strong year for the country’s most popular travel experience – 3,561 people took on the challenge in 2017, up 40 per cent on the previous year.
“2018 is shaping up to be a big year with reports of solid bookings across the industry ahead of the season’s official launch on ANZAC Day. With the track already open and the season’s first trek underway we’re anticipating a positive year for the industry,” said Sue Fitcher, President of the Kokoda Tour Operators Association (KTOA)
The 96km trek through PNG’s Owen Stanley Ranges makes for one of the world’s most spectacular and challenging treks, whilst providing the opportunity for travellers to immerse themselves in PNG’s unique rich culture and discover the moving World War II history of the region.
Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority’s (PNGTPA) chief executive officer, Jerry Agus said a successful Kokoda season is not only important to the trekking industry but to the whole of PNG.
“We welcome travellers to the Kokoda Track and acknowledge the importance of the tourist dollar to the communities they visit in Kokoda but also to the wider population of PNG. This trek is PNG’s biggest tourism drawcard and is invaluable to the country’s tourism industry as a whole.
“When visitors to our country spend a week or more walking the Kokoda Trail, meeting with descendants of Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels who supported their own relatives during the Second World War and tackling the same fierce environmental conditions they did, it makes for a once-in-a lifetime experience that offers a lot more than your average holiday.”
Following the trek, Aussies are encouraged to unwind and recuperate by the crystal-clear waters in the island regions of Milne Bay to the south or East New Britain to the north east.