“We believe we are turning the corner,” said President Surangel Whipps Jr. during the April 12th press conference on Palau’s economic recovery.
Indicating that the 2nd quarter government report will show Palau’s revenue collections to exceed 50%, Whipps expressed confidence that the economic outlook is improving. He cited the increased visitor arrivals in March compared to previous months as another indication of the recovery.
Despite having regularly scheduled flights such as United Airlines and China Airlines, the number of tourist arrivals has not reached the prior predictions by USA Graduate School, which has since revised its tourism recovery prediction to 2025.
The government continues to push for new and more direct flights to Palau from partner countries. Under Australia’s Flight Program, a new route connecting Sydney to Palau via Papua New Guinea commenced in February. Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl of HRCTD recently announced that the new direct flights from Singapore to Palau would commence June 23, 2023, flying twice a week. The airline, called Alii Airline, will be a regular flight, bookable online, according to Minister Tmetuchl.
President Whipps said that one of the priorities he is pushing for with South Korea is the direct flight from Korea to Palau. “We have been talking about this for a while, having the Korean domestic airline Jeju fly directly to Palau.
“Visitors don’t want to spend more time at the airports than necessary and are looking for direct flights,” Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl.(By: L.N. Reklai)
The increase in government revenue collections may be the reflection of the new tax law (PGST) instead of visitor arrivals.