Enga Province is celebrating the re-opening of the Wapenamanda Airport, after it was closed for almost two years for an upgrade, with the announcement a special PNG Air 3-day package for the 2021 Enga Cultural Show weekend.
Enga Governor Chief Sir Peter Ipatas said, “The resumption of flights to Wapenamanda Airport means a great deal for Enga Province and our people and for economic growth in the province. Having our own airport for the province is very necessary for business, for access to important services and for our people to be able to safely and easily move around the country and especially to the nation’s capital.”
Sir Peter said, “As Enga is looking to the future as an education and health hub for the nation, with our new hospital and colleges under construction, having an adequate sized, modern operational airport is vital, with the number of people coming to the province from outside increasing.”
“It’s also a big boost for the province’s growing tourism industry and comes just in time for the Enga Cultural Show, which is happening in three weeks.” Sir Peter added.
The Enga Cultural Show will take place on the 6 & 7th of August this year with an exciting new day tour included on the Sunday 8th of August. In addition to the 3-day package, PNG Air has also adjusted its flight timetable for the show weekend, with flights to Wapenamanda on Friday 6th and Monday the 8th of August, making it more attractive for people to come for the weekend.
Sir Peter said, “Thanks to this new flight timetable visitors will now be able to fly in direct from Port Moresby for the cultural show on Friday and fly back on Monday morning. "
"This is something my government has been striving to put in place for the cultural show for 10 years. Now, PNG Air has come on board and seen the potential in Enga as a tourist destination and I and my administration team are very grateful to PNG Air for their show of support and confidence in us.”
A welcome reception was held for the PNG Air flight arrival, hosted by Enga Provincial Government Administrator Dr Samson Amean, who presented gifts of sandpaintings and honey to PNG Air staff, including PNG Commercial Manager Ms Nancy Nakikus, who declared to the Engan audience, "PNG Air is back!"
The Enga Provincial Government has made a strong push to open up the province to tourism in recent years getting behind the development of numerous small scale local tourism service providers in districts throughout the province.
The province will also be hosting the nation’s biggest annual industry gathering, Lukim PNG Nau Tourism Expo, in September.
Speaking at the occasion, Enga Cultural Show Chairlady Margaret Potane said, “With the PNG Air Package and the new flight times we can now expect more people to come to Enga for the show this year and we will be ready to host them for a great weekend.“
“This year, the show may only be for two days, instead of the usual 3 days, but it will a fully packed two days with more than 50 cultural groups from all the over the province participating, including singsing, traditional rituals, skills and crafts. Enga Made products, flora displays and food stalls will also be back as usual.” she added.
Mrs Potane said, “Visitors coming for the show weekend are in for a real treat in 2021, as we will also be running PNGs first ever food tourism tour package, on Sunday the 8th.”
“Called The Tasting Enga Tour, it’s a full day trip that centres on the traditional salt ponds in Laiagam District, and includes a traditional Engan mumu lunch.” She added.
“We also take our guests through the agricultural heart of Enga, Sirunki, where we grow strawberries, potatoes and produce honey. From the salty and savoury to the sweet and smooth, visitors will be able to see, hear and taste the best our province has to offer” Mrs Potane said.
She also expressed her gratitude to PNG Air saying, “We are really thankful to PNG Air for coming on board with us this year to offer special flights and fares with a wonderful all-inclusive package. Now our visitors can fly direct giving them more time to really experience Enga, not just our culture, but our beautiful scenery and our local food.”
For more information on the Enga Cultural Show, tours, accommodation and to book show tickets go to www.engashow.com