March arrivals show steady growth
Visitor arrivals for the month of March showed an increase across all markets compared to same time last year with exception of European market.
Since January, there has been a steady growth in tourism numbers from other markets with exception of China. China’s number have been on steady decline since 2017 except for February of this year where in nearly doubled January and March numbers.
Despite decline, it still has the largest share of the tourism market. In February China market had 53% of the market share, but in March it dropped to 33%.
Other markets have been showing steady growth with Japan market gaining 30%, South Korea with 10%, Taiwan with 9%, USA/Canada with 8% and Europe with 5%.
March was when the impact of the Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee (PPEF) was expected to be felt as number of those that have paid their tickets before January 1st would have fallen. Based on March arrival numbers, the PPEF impact is yet to be seen.
ADB 2018 Outlook noted the 22.8 % decline in 2017 tourism numbers which caused Palau’s GDP to contract by .05 percent but it projected steady tourism growth for 2018 and 2019. (L.N. Reklai/Editor)