The Palau Visitors Authority completed the Welcome All Visitors Enthusiastically! (WAVE!) Program from March 19-23, 2018 at Ulong Island, the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon and two popular tourist sites.
In postcard weather, eighth grade students from private and public elementary schools were given tours and presentations at Ulong Island with PVA and partners, including Koror State, Friends of Palau National Marine Sanctuary, and the Palau Conservation Society.
The intention of the WAVE! week is to hold activities that aim to enhance the understanding and promote the importance of the Tourism Industry to the young children of Palau, thus instilling the concept of welcoming all visitors enthusiastically in their minds and hearts. PVA believes that notions learned in the early years will be carried over to adulthood; this ideology is the back bone of the WAVE! program. Today’s young children are the safe-keepers of Palau’s future and therefore, it is most important to invest time and effort in teaching them to love, to preserve and to protect the resources and people in this country.
Activities on Ulong Island included trail walks to the Captain Wilson monument to explain the history of Captain Henry Wilson, whose vessel, the Antelope, was shipwrecked on the nearby reef in 1783, and how Ibedul and the people of Koror assisted Captain Wilson and the crew to rebuild their ship. The Koror State Cultural Affairs representatives explained two important cultural sites on Ulong, the Stone Wall (ewatel) which was used to protect the people from Ulong during war or storms, and the water hole, which was built to collect fresh water. PVA’s activities included the creating the biggest WAVE!! line in WAVE! history, and PVA also conducted games and discussions about sustainability of the tourism industry. The students also had the opportunity to visit two famous tourist sites on the return to Koror, the snorkeling site known as Cemetery, and the natural arch. In order to send a plastics-free message to the students, they were each given a stainless steel reusable drinking container.
PVA would like to thank the following persons and organizations for their valuable contributions:
Keyanges Bai, Koror State Rangers; Kirby Sikyang, Koror State Tourism Liaison Officer (DCLE-KSG); Lori Isao, Friends of Palau National Marine Sanctuary; Phedias Brel, Jason Timulch, and Sandy Fernandez of Koror State Government’s State and Cultural Division. PVA also would like to thank the following persons for providing logistics, food and drinks: Jerry Nabeyama, Kenji Dengokl, Charles Ngirakesan, Mark Guthory Babia, and Dean Merar. In addition, PVA extends their gratitude to Surangel & Sons Company, Palau Pacific International Tour Company, and Palau National Communications Corporation. (PR) [/restrict]