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Director Kevin Mesebeluu of the Bureau of Tourism urged tour boat operators and tour operators to obtain licenses from the Bureau of Tourism in order to operate business in Palau.  According to Director Mesebeluu, this week begins the implementation of the tour and boat operator licensing under the Bureau of Tourism as mandated by law.

“In the past, bureau of revenue and tax issued up 140 to 150 tour operator licenses while only about 30 registered.  Now we have doubled that to 60 and we are encouraging people to come and register,” stated Director Mesebeluu.

A boat operator license of a person using their boat for business of transporting people, they must comply with new regulations which mandate that to apply they must provide among other things proof of ownership of a boat, which could be a certificate of title, transfer of ownership, bill of sale or other proof as may be required.

Mesebeluu reported that so far 25 to 30 boat operators have registered.

Bureau of Tourism, Bureau of Revenue and Taxation, and Marine Safety have established an MOU requiring anyone registering for tour business license to provide license from Bureau of Tourism.

“This small cooperation between our agencies has doubled the number of people registering,” reported Director Mesebeluu.

The purpose of the regulations is to develop best practices as well as standardize services according to Mesebeluu and urge operators to register.

Bureau of Tourism under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism is responsible for regulating the tourism industry whilst Palau Visitors Authority, an autonomous government agency is mandated with marketing Palau as a tourism destination to the world. (L.N. Reklai)