More than 4,000 new hotel rooms have entered and will enter Palau’s market, which will amount to more than $300 million investment for the island-nation.

Since 2013 to this year, the Environment Quality Protection Board (EQPB) has issued 14 permits for hotels, hostels, bungalows and apartelles, another four applications under review, four applications pending and while others applications are either waiting for environmental assessment approval or environmental impact assessment approval.

In 2018 alone, there are six new hotel developments applications with investments totaling close to $190 million. There are projects on the list that did not specify the cost of investments.

The most significant of these projects according to the latest hotel development list provided by EQPB are:

– Koror International Hotel: $52 million, 514 rooms, listed under Pakheng Corp., pending an environmental impact statement;

– Grand Palace Villa Park: $16 million, 250 rooms, listed under BC Holdings, permit issued.

– Palau Pacific Star Hotel: $15 million, 200 rooms, listed under Tian “Hunter” Hang, environmental assessment completed;

-Palau Reef Pemphis Hotel: $14.5 million, 101 rooms, listed under  Etpison Corp., has been issued a permit for its first phase of 27 rooms and 12 dormitories;

– Palau Aimeliik Resort: $60 million, 800 rooms, listed under Sea Sky International Pacific Tourism with approval still pending;

-Palau Blue Gold Hotel: $48.7 million, 342 rooms, listed under Eric Kuo with permits still under review.

In the last five years, these are the hotels that were completed adding at least 199 rooms in Palau’s inventory

-The Cove Hotel: $3.2 million, 75 rooms, listed under Shallum Etpison;

  • -An unnamed hotel under Nishi Corp.: 12 rooms, cost unspecified;

-Palau Pacific Resort Bungalows: $1 million, 5 rooms, listed under the Palau Pacific Resort;

-WCTC Resort Hotel (under construction): $3 million, 61 rooms, listed under WCTC;

-Jin Ping Hotel, number 30 rooms and cost unspecified, listed under Jin Ping and

-Kishigawa Hostel, 16 rooms, cost unspecified, listed under Mari Kishigawa.

In last year’s State of the Republic Address President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. said Palau has a very long list of planned hotels — “at a value of somewhere between $200 and $300 million [total] — that have a Foreign Investment [Board] permit and/or an [Environmental Quality Protection Board] permit issued.”

Earlier, Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang said construction boom in Palau is seen as driving economic growth for 2019 despite a slight tourism slump in 2018.

Ongoing infrastructure projects will spur the growth and contribute to an increase in labor demand, the economic outlook of Palau stated.