Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl Minister, MHRCTD
Chairman, PVA Board of Directors
Message from Palau’s Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism & Development:
Alii from Palau! As one of the COVID-Safe republics in Micronesia, we have been blessed and we also have been stressed! Our community has been on pins and needles at the hint of a possible case. Hence, since Palau’s 11th president took the oath of office, he ushered in his new administration taking on a strategic and integrated management approach. President Surangel Whipps platform focuses on improving the quality of life of Palauans and provides incentives and opportunities to pursue their happiness as they are the force that drives the progress of our island nation.
One of President Whipps’ primary policy priorities include a focus on developing and promoting our human resources and fostering our economy, while striking a balance in the protection of our environment with putting our Palauan people and future generations of Palauans first; this evokes his campaign slogan and promise “A Kot A Rechad Er Belau”.
A testament to this commitment is the formation of the Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism and Development. With the Republic’s population of about 20,000 and tourism our primary economic pillar, human resources is the backbone of Palau’s economy. Our enduring and rich cultural heritage is the bedrock of our small island nation and serves as the guiding force in fostering sustainable development moving forward.
In leading this integrated yet broad scope ministry, we’ve been conducting needs assessments in these sectors and formulating programs and initiatives that will chart our course towards realizing these goals. We have been gradually welcoming visitors to our country, while ensuring international guidelines and proper protocols are in place. Safety of travelers is key, and even moreso, we have also been working to ensure our COVID-Safe community is ready, prepared, and feel reassured about fully opening Palau to visitors.
As our history and traditional culture are unique attributes of the “Pristine Palau” experience, even prior to COVID, we have been working with each state to develop cultural industries that enhance and enrich our visitor experience. We just recently launched a partnership with Palau Community College and one of the states of Palau women’s associations to include traditional Palauan dishes into the culinary arts curriculum. The Palau Visitor Authority hosts day and night markets on bi-weekly schedules, as they provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs, businesses, and state communities to showcase their offerings not just to our visitors, but to our local community as well. Another key hallmark of the “Pristine Palau” experience is our natural environment. We continue to foster development initiatives that are sustainable and reflect Palau’s traditional cultural framework.
Palau, like the rest of Micronesia, is positioned in this new global tourism shift to serve visitor markets seeking safe and authentic experiences. Sustainability is embedded in our indigenous cultures, and our islands’ natural environment is part of our way of life and a legacy for our future generations. Our region is blessed, and as we navigate tourism recovery, charting a sustainable course for our future generations will lead to a vibrant Micronesia!
Due to the impact and changes caused by the COVID-19, we’ve made a combination of procedure and measures to make sure the Customers can enjoy their holiday with peace of mind.
It has been a year and four months since most of the world closed their border, some are locked down and the way of living, working style have been changed so much, from the impacts of COVID-19.
If not for taking a quick decision and action (the border closure, screening at the very first report of the new virus COVID-19 in March ’20, implemented physical distancing by shut down the school, wear mask while in public, and subsequent measures including vaccination of its population) by the government and Palau’s Ministry of Health, Palau would be in the same situation as the rest of the world. Palau has done an amazing job vaccinating the community and according to CDC, Palau is one of the first country to beat COVID.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry with no tourists. Hotel businesses are closed or barely partially open, but many reducing operations and concentrating on maintaining properties.
To keep ourselves safe and to make the tourists feel welcome again with safe and maintained environment, Palau Pacific Resort has been preparing by enrolling Palau government COVID ‘New Normal’ protocol: train our associates on HOW TO work in a safe way, build in clear acrylic panel on counter where Customers and staffs interact, practice of wearing individual face mask which hotel provided, installing hands-free sanitizers, and regularly wipe and disinfect with alcohol disinfectant for the areas that are often touched.
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