President Tommy Remengesau meets with the members of the tourism industry.

“2019 for tourism will be much better than 2018,” assured President Remengesau Jr. addressing members of the Belau Tourism Association yesterday. Reiterating that the reduction of package tours was part of the plan to achieve sustainable tourism, Remengesau acknowledged that the pulling out of Delta’s direct Japan/Palau route did exacerbate the problem.

“The sooner we bring back direct flights from Japan, the better for outbound visitors from Japan to Palau,” he added.

Peter Polloi of MPIIC reported that Skymark Airlines of Japan will be flying twice a week starting March of this year.  They are slated to launch their scheduled flights in September.   All Nippon Airways will have 7 charter flights in the month of February.

In addition, China Airlines is increasing to 3 flights a week direct from Taipei to Palau and Asiana will increase to 4 flights a week from Korea.  Furthermore, T’Way Airlines also from Korea is currently working with respective governments to add a Korea/Japan/Palau route.  And at the end of this month Sky Anchor Air will fly direct charters from Hong Kong and Macau to Palau.

The additional flights and new airlines will be in addition to existing airlines such as United Airlines, Korean Air, and Asiana that currently provide airline services to Palau.

President Remengesau Jr. reiterated that the goal is to balance and diversify the tourism industry.  “We are not closing the door to our Chinese visitors, we are diversifying our industry,” stated Remengesau. (L.N. Reklai)