|dc.description.abstract||This master’s thesis explored whether or not tourism can facilitate community development in the Jiwaka Province in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The people of Jiwaka Province, a newly created province, could benefit from tourism if a national tourism policy is implemented at the provincial level. The literature review examined the role of tourism development in less developed countries, indigenous tourism development, tourism policy, indigenous tourism, tourism advocacy and community development. Action research was used to identify the role of tourism in development of the new province to identify the role, if any, that community participation can have in tourism development. It identified the extent of tourism demand for the Jiwaka Province, some obstacles to tourism development in the province, and how people and smaller communities can become involved in tourism development in Jiwaka Province. The research process led to tourism advocacy, where the researcher helped to educate local people in awareness of the potential they possess and the opportunities available for their community to participate in and to promote development through tourism. The qualitative techniques adopted as part of action research to collect data were interviews and participatory observation. Individual and focus group interviews were used, involving 271 participants, including tourism policy officials in Port Moresby, political leaders of Jiwaka Province, Local leaders and community representatives.
The results indicate that the top down approach of the current tourism policy is not effective for tourism development and does not facilitate community participation at the grass roots level. Most local people in Jiwaka Province are very ignorant of the potential and benefits of tourism. There is potential for tourism development, but there are obstacles at all levels of government. Currently, development for all sectors of Jiwaka Province is at an embryonic stage. Therefore, growth in tourism and the Jiwaka community can become a reality over time alongside infrastructural development and other economic advancements.
The key issues preventing community participation in tourism are corruption in the government, limited government funding, security and law and order problems, and issues related to tourism marketing and policy implementation at the national, provincial and district levels. Other issues involve funding from the office of the governor in Jiwaka, delays in establishing the provincial government apparatus in the province due to inefficient government human resource processes in Port Moresby, no tourism office space in the province, infrastructural development, and ignorance of tourism.
The thesis concluded that community tourism development is the only way for tourism development in Jiwaka because of customary land ownership; a bottom-up approach will deliver more benefits to the community than the current top down approach; a government policy/funding vacuum to support community development leading the communities to turn to corporate and NGO support is deeded, as is the need for tourism advocacy. Recommendations are made to the Jiwaka Provincial Government to prioritise tourism, as a key development agent for communities in Jiwaka Province, using a bottom-up approach, which empowers local people and encourages community participation.||