Businesses such as restaurants, hotels and tour agencies have been preparing for the “travel bubble” between Palau and Taiwan to open on April 1st. 

In anticipation of the coming flights, Island Times has spoken to several businesses to hear how they are handling their preparations, and how they feel about it.

“We are not ready to disclose any information about our hotel, but we are happy to be prepared and can’t wait to work with the opening of these flights since getting certified,” says an employee from Palau Royal Resort (PRR).

Another PRR employee at the front desk said even though she has been vaccinated and they have done well with preparations, it is still scary not knowing if it will be safe.

In order to accommodate guests coming in on the bubble, tourism-related businesses must receive “pandemic safety” certifications from the Bureau of Tourism (BOT). Since the tourism bubble is fast approaching, a lot of business have been eager to get theirs.

“We announced on the radio and put out the news that the Bureau of Tourism will be conducting a workshop for businesses such as restaurants, hotels and tour agencies, and not many came to sign up. Now those who didn’t are claiming they weren’t informed,” said Jane from BOT.

Despite this, BOT has already certified a number of required businesses and is preparing to certify more.

The Pandemic Safety certification is designed to have businesses learn and prepare for COVID prevention and how to deal with it if there happens to be a positive case.

Soo Min, Manager of Umi Restaurant, said he is happy that Palau is opening flights and it will be good for business, but there is still possibility that it will bring COVID.

“I think it’s very good for business and the economy that Palau is taking baby steps for the flights to open, but I am also worried of the slight chance of COVID. The Bureau of Tourism workshop helped a lot with being prepared and I hope for the best,” he said.

The businesses getting certified are those likely to be in more contact with those who may come to stay and dine. BOT will strictly work on these, before working to certify other businesses such as those in the retail industry. 

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