By: L.N. Reklai

August 23, 2017 (Koror, Palau) “We are consistent in our policy,” stated President Remengesau Jr. in response to statements made that the new airport expansion project is not in line with the Responsible Tourism Plan.

“We cannot talk about high end, high quality without addressing necessary infrastructure improvements such as telecom, water, sewer and airport,” he added. [restrict

Remengesau added that public-private partnership between Palau, Sojitz and JATCO is the answer to the Pristine Paradise Palau.

Some of the benefits cited include having more scheduled airlines and reducing Palau’s reliance on charter flights and ensuring quality visitors.

Others include increasing Palau’s marketing budget with the influence and marketing reach of partners Sojitz and JATCO, connecting Palau with more international airlines, diversifying tourism markets.

Gaining greater support of Japan government as well as quality airport were also cited as benefits that Palau would reap from this public private partnership arrangement.

Remengesau admitted that more effort by both the administration and OEK should have been made to inform the public on this enterprise.

“To get quality tourist, you need to have quality infrastructure and I don’t see how this is different from our goal of quality tourism,” added Remengesau.

The public private partnership arrangement is a joint venture between Palau government, SOJITZ and JATCO to improve, expand and management Palau airport terminal for 20 years. After 20 years, Palau government will resume the full ownership and management of the airport terminal. [/restrict]