Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority’s Holly Marshall

This week, we caught up with Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority’s local trade marketing manager, who not only answered all our questions, but also provided a fab cookie recipe!

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, which is a bit of a crime thriller. I’m only 23 pages in, so not much to report yet!

What are you watching?

I’m a little bit obsessed with watching reruns of Brooklyn 99.  I’m back at season one, and it’s just hilarious all over again.

What are you listening to?

I’m forever listening to the podcast My Favourite Murder – it’s an all-time fave! But I’ve recently also started listening to podcasts The Minimalist and You’re Wrong About.

Music-wise, I’m always on a rotation of Lime Cordiale, The Dreggs, JP Cooper and Jack Johnson.

What are you cooking?

Do cookies count? Because look, there’s only so many hits a girl can take in life without having a great cookie recipe. Here you go – you’re welcome.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

Physically, I’ve re-joined my gym and I’m also helping to lead monthly Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority hikes in the Gold Coast Hinterland. It’s been amazing to reconnect with people in the industry and with nature at the same time. Anyone is welcome to join if you’re in Queensland – drop me a line!

Mentally, I’m working on limiting my screen time. Instead of going straight to my phone because I’m bored, I play with my dog or go for a walk.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

My fiancé’s family is all based in the UK, and even though we’ve been in Australia for 2.5 years, we’ve started doing family online quizzes. It’s been amazing to get to spend quality time with them from afar!

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

How much I crave fun, which can lead to amazing memories with friends and family in my own backyard! So far, we’ve done a bar crawl around the rooms of our house, set up an outdoor cinema and had a mini family getaway!

What’s your advice for others in the industry on coping with the crisis?

Find the things that make you happy or bring you peace and embrace them.

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

Mudgee! I mean, there’s 35 cellar doors and an AMAZING gin distillery there. What more do you want?

What is the one international travel memory keeping you going through this time?

Snorkelling around the beautiful reefs of Tufi in Papua New Guinea, followed by the most amazing cultural performance I have ever been so lucky to experience. I can’t wait to get back.

Where do you want to travel to once international travel restrictions ease up?

I honestly can’t wait to head back to Papua New Guinea. I had plans to visit Walindi, Tawali, Mt Hagen and Kavieng, so these places are first up on my priority list when restrictions ease.

I’m hopeful that the Pacific will be amongst the first of the international destinations to open up to Australians, being right on our doorstep.


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