By: L.N. Reklai
(Koror, Palau) Any person or company operating a tour service business in the Republic of Palau, must obtain a Tour Operator’s License from the Bureau of Tourism under the Ministry of Natural Resource, Environment and Tourism (MNRET), according to Executive Order 391.
Signed on August 10th by President Remengesau Jr., the Executive Order 391 removes the responsibility of licensing tour services from the Palau Visitors Authority to Bureau of Tourism under the MNRET.
According to EO 391, the authority which was vested under the President of the Republic by 11PNC Section 901 to approve and issue such licenses was delegated to Palau Visitors Authority by former President Nakamura under EO 155.
The newly adopted RPPL 9-53 created the Bureau of Tourism under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, specifically tasked the Bureau of Tourism with regulatory functions of the tourism industry, and is the proper agency to implement this task, according to the EO 391.
The Executive Order 391 rescinds EO 155 and directs BOT to develop and present regulations and standardized application for licensing tour operators within the Republic.
The tour operator license is in addition to obtaining a State and national business licenses and each permit or license does not replace the other.[/restrict]