President Remengesau as promised is introducing one of his first piece of legislation before the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau, a measure to encourage foreign investments in high-end tourist accommodations.

The proposed bill requires Foreign Investment Board (FIB) to only accept proposed lodging facility that is five-star rated by a reputable independent rating system.


“ This bill set the foundation for Pristine Paradise Palau,” Remengesau said.

The bill sets to “limit new foreign owned and financed hotel and other lodging facility projects to high-end accommodations.”

The measure also seeks amendments to the FIB law, where new proposed lodging or accommodation projects will be able to address their own infrastructure needs like building their own power and sewer. “This is critical means of protecting our already overburdened public infrastructure and incentivizing foreign investors to utilize innovative technologies that are sustainable and renewable,” stated Remengesau in his transmittal.

The government in turn will provide for tax incentives for five-star accommodations, the bill added. Any business meeting such criteria can have refund on their taxes up to or equal to the amount of cost of any offsite road, power, water and/or sewer improvements.

In an interview, Remengesau reiterated that  Palau  is less concerned with raising the numbers and more focused on inviting “quality” visitors.

While Palau is estimated to continue its growth for the next year, they remain vulnerable to environmental impacts.

“We will continue to expand economic development opportunities while ensuring the protection of our natural resources so that our economic growth and development is sustainable. This is our Pristine Paradise, Palau Vision — to promote high value development that co-exists with our greatest asset, our environment. We must remember that while many will come calling and knocking at our doors, only a few good partners can be chosen.,” Remengesau stated in his inaugural speech last week.

Remengesau said Palau would be more selective in accepting new accommodation projects.

“We need to be more selective, make some hard decision to say thank you we have these plans in mind, “ the president told reporters yesterday.

Remengesau proposed bill also stated that the proposed investment on hotels should be $5 million.

Tourism is the driver of Palau’s economy and have been enjoying a surge in tourist arrivals for the last two years. However officials said its seeks to attract the luxury travelers. [/restrict]