Guests watched a presentation at Night Market (File Photo)

While the visitor number has gone up in the month of August compared previous four months, it still does not match up the arrivals Palau witnessed last year.

The Director of Tourism Kevin Mesebeluu said that the dengue outbreak might be playing a role in the declining number as the surrounding nations are aware of the dengue problem in Palau.

Arrivals spiked by 1460 compared to July with a total in the month of August being 8,544. However, there is a significant decrease in the number when compared to August last year.

The arrival numbers last year in February were the highest followed by August which saw 11,093 visitors.

Several businesses complained about businesses not running well as Japanese visitors were declining.

Although there has been a slight increase in the number of visitors from Japan as August this year saw 2,120 Japanese visitors which an increase of 108 arrivals compared to last year.

The Chinese visitors are still comparatively lower but it still remains to be the highest nationality visiting Palau.

The total Chinese visitors up till now are 21663 and the total Chinese visitors till August last year were 34,059.

In August this year there were 1058 visitors from South Korea and last year there were 1,527 visitors. There has been an increase in visitors from Taiwan as 1,669 visited this year while 1,612 visited last year.

However, there were more visitors from Taiwan in July than in August.

Last month, Palau Visitors Authority sent out a notice regarding the Dengue Outbreak to establishments providing different services to the tourists.

PVA notice reminded all their partners in tourism industry that number Dengue Fever cases in the past months have been growing and requested for their help in combating the problem by taking precautionary and proactive measures by educating their staff and guests to ensure the visitor safety.

“We hope you understand the great importance in this matter and ask that you work with us and the Ministry of Health to collectively contribute towards a Dengue-Free Palau,” PVA’s letter read. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)