Published on : Thursday, September 6, 2018
Palau government develops a tourism education bill, which will improve environmental protections and crackdown on non-compliant tour operators. This will be the new approach to develop its tourism industry.
The new tourism laws will require operators to advertise the Palau Pledge, a recently introduced environmental commitment, and provide reusable alternatives to disposable plastics, polystyrene cups, water bottles and drinking straws.
Immigration officials will board planes and vessels arriving in Palau and ensure they have signed the Palau Pledge. The reef-toxic sunscreen will also be banned by 2020, with a fine of $US1,000 and confiscation of goods.
This year Hawaii and a resort in Fiji have announced bans on coral-killing sunscreens, following research into some of the chemicals present in them. The director of Palau’s Tourism Bureau, Kevin Mesebeluu, says Palau is trying to promote green tourism through rewards, but there will be penalties too.
The tourism education bill is currently before Palau’s house committee. A Palau Pacific Airways plane parked in Hong Kong.Palau Pacific Airways plane.
Tourism is Palau’s largest source of revenue but visitor numbers have dropped dramatically following China’s ban on its tourism agencies visiting the country. The Chinese tourists have made up 13 percent of Palau’s tourists so far this year, compared with 48 percent in 2017.