The high cost of package tours to Palau through the Palau-Taiwan travel bubble is attributed to tour agencies in Taiwan packaging tours which have purchased airline seats, and selling them at high prices to travelers, reported Palau Visitors Authority Chairman Ngirai Tmetuchl at the national leadership meeting yesterday.
In order to address the low number of visitors traveling from Taiwan to Palau through the bubble, Palau has sought to examine some of the challenges faced, the biggest being the cost of travel. During the inaugural flight, the cost of a tour to Palau was around $3,000 USD per person.
One way of decreasing the cost is to increase the number of airline services to Palau, said Chairman Tmetuch. There are three airlines currently processing application to fly Taiwan-Palau route.
Other costs related to processing visitors from Taiwan have been absorbed by both the Palau and Taiwan governments. Palau has removed restrictions on the number of people in hotels or on boats. With restrictions initially placed on the number of people per boat, sharing costs among fewer people made it expensive, but with restrictions removed more people will be able to share costs and thereby reduce the cost per person.
Another major challenge is the imposition of the 5 plus 9 day enforced self-home management in Taiwan after tourists return home which essentially stopped people from resuming work for another 14 days. This is a major limiting factor for people wanting to travel.
The lack of marketing is also a factor and Chairman Tmetuchl said that PVA is now focusing on marketing. He said they have been focused on organizing and working toward opening the travel bubble, but now they will put more effort into marketing.
The inaugural flight of the travel bubble started with 135 passengers, with a subsequent flight dropping to 13 passengers, but this number has risen again to 50 in the last flight. They expect numbers to go up as restrictions are further eased and costs are lowered.

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