The Palau Visitors Authority (PVA), through its one-stop-shop program, is aiming to provide more tourist activities by showcasing the traditional life and way of governance in Palau.
PVA Chairman of the Board Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl told Island Times in an interview that since Palau has been always known to be a diving haven, PVA is now trying to open up other tourist attractions to help enhance tourism.
“Palau is modernizing so we have a western style of government but it is important to share with tourist that there is a living, thriving culture that is maintained. This structure, called the Bai, is the symbol of that government and the symbol of our culture,” Tmetuchl said.
PVA’s one-stop-shop program piloted in Airai Bai where tourists can have a first-hand experience of seeing the over 300-year-old traditional men’s meeting house, walking through stone paths and also learn about Palau’s culture and tradition through a guided tour.
Just recently, tourists from cruise ship MS Bremen of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises carried around 140 passengers of different nationalities from Japan where it started its cruise. Some of the passengers came to visit the Airai Bai while others also take other land excursions to the museum and exploring Koror, according to Ole Stapelfeld of the MS Bremen.
“Everybody loves nature, snorkeling was excellent, it is hard to find a place that is just as well preserved as the Rock Islands parks,” Stapelfeld said.
“The cultural and historical part is interesting – the Japanese, American, German history – and the history of Palau itself before the colonization was really worth it and interesting,” Stapelfeld added. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)