The Bureau of Tourism (BOT) has awarded the drafting of its five-year strategic plan to the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) in a signing ceremony held at the Palau Visitors Authority Office (PVA).

PCS Executive Director Abolade Majekobaje and BOT Director Kevin Mesebeluu signed the draft with PVA Director Stephanie Nakamura as witness.

“We at BOT feel that the tourism industry is everyone’s responsibility.  Those agencies, NGO’s, authorities, and bureau tasked with the marketing, regulating, and driving the industry should work closely together,” Director Mesebeluu said.

Collaboration ensures that work is not duplicated, resources are shared, and visions are aligned across the various players’ strategies and plans.  Sharing ideas and aligning initiatives can only strengthen the development of Palau’s tourism industry into the high-value, high-spending, and high-investment goals that have been set by the administration and are reflected in the Responsible Tourism Policy Framework. PVA which focuses on marketing, the Foreign Investment Board and Bureau of Tourism that certify and regulates tourism operators and tourism services, EQPB, PCS, and PAN that protects the environment; all these players and others share common goals, the responsible and sustainable development of the tourism industry as a key driver for economic growth for Palau.

The expected outputs of the five-year strategy will involve three major components; a capacity assessment of the bureau, strategic organization planning with tourism partners to identify key weaknesses and opportunities, and finally the five – year strategic plan document.

The work will ensure that BOT identifies the necessary human and asset resources needed to implement the tourism framework.  It will also elevate BOT into the tourism mix with the relevant partners by providing a roadmap for collaboration.

The strategic plan is also expected to enable the bureau to plan for the long term regulation of the tourism industry. (PR)