Tourist arrival statistics in January showed decrease in number of tourists among Palau’s major markets compared to the same month last year but the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) noted arrivals in February are showing good signs due to the recent opening of new direct flights to Palau.

The January statistics provided by the PVA revealed that tourists from the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and South Korea showed decrease in number while only tourists from Taiwan showed a minimal increase when compared to the country’s tourism performance in the same month last year.

Palau welcomed a total number of 7,358 tourists in January this year which is over 3,000 tourists short of the January 2018 tourist arrivals of 10,465.

PVA recorded that a total of 2,083 tourists from China arrived in Palau last month, representing a decrease of 1,824 compared to the 3,907 arrivals in January 2018.

Japanese tourists also accounted for a total of 1,959 tourists, showing a decrease of 507 compared to same month last year. Korean tourists also showed decrease with only 1,171 arrivals last month from 1,810 in January 2018.

Tourists from North America, Europe, and Russia also showed decrease while tourists from Taiwan showed minimal increase with 923 recorded tourist arrivals last month from only 807 arrivals in January 2018.

Meanwhile, PVA noted that February is showing good results due to additional flights to Palau that has been opened recently.

Just last January 31, 147 tourists boarded the Palau Asia Pacific Air (PAPA)as it resumes flights to Palau, carrying passengers from Hong Kong and Macau. It was also reported previously that China Airlines had just received approval from Japan government to fly Taiwan-Japan-Palau route. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)