Drought-hit Palau is hoping that the water crisis on the island would not discourage tourists from visiting the island.
Although water restrictions put in place last month also affected the business sector, the National Emergency Committee has been providing relief through setting up of water stations, deliveries to parched areas including hotels and restaurants.
Chinese tourists returning from a day's excursion to the rock islands. Photo by Ongerung Kambes Kesolei
“The tourism industry has taken a variety of measures to ensure the comfort and well-being of their guests as well as to continue to enjoy what Palau has to offer,” the statement said.
It further stated that during the crisis, tourism is still of utmost importance to Palau.
“Although Palau’s residents and the tourism industry are experiencing impacts of this condition, we continue to welcome visitors to Palau,” it added.
Tourism is the driver of Palau’s economy; it contributes 50 percent to its annual revenue. An earlier economic forecast by the Asian Development Bank showed that Palau is gearing toward a high growth this year due to tourism.
Tourism push for the drought-hit Palau is essential more than ever, according to one Dive Tour company manager.
“It is even more important now that we remain focused on providing a quality experience to our guests as otherwise the drought related challenges will dominate our guests experience in Palau." Dermot Keane, Sam’s Tours Manager, told the Pacific Note.