By: L.N. Reklai
(Ngerulmud, Palau) With Palau’s growing pristine destinations, a new business of luxury yacht charters is starting. Also Palau, known to have hosted a number of times, Paul Allen’s super yacht Octopus, more luxury yachts are looking to come to Palau which has motivated a draft bill in the Senate to increase fees for yachts.
According to the bill findings, yachts are being chartered in Palau for $250,000 per week but pays about $700 a month in fees. The bill quotes that Marshall Islands charges $230 per day , Bahamas about $150 and Guam $7 per day.
Some critics of the idea notes that Palau may charge less because it does not have proper facilities to accommodate such business such as mooring dock that allows for waste discharge, refill of water and fuel among other basic services offered in other places.
Some disgruntled local operators feel that these super yachts are self-contained with their own boats, supplies and therefore, do not really leave much for the local economy.
Still couple of operators that service these yachts believe that this is a good business and that to increase the benefits to local economy, proper facilities should be constructed to enable these yachts to dock properly and pay for more local services.
Senate bill pushes for higher fees stating that these can be used to improve the Republic’s infrastructure so that it can support the tourism industry. [/restrict]