Palau Conservation Society, along with the Responsible Tourism Committee conducted a workshop with several Chinese tour operators on October 27, 2016. The workshop is part of the Responsible Tourism Campaign to protect Palau’s extraordinary biodiversity for the benefit of Palauan people and communities and the tourism industry. [restrict] The campaign is intended to build awareness of the “Responsible Tourism” concept and practices within communities and the tourism industry in Palau. Responsible tourism is aimed at maximizing economic, social and environmental benefits and minimizing costs to destinations. Simply put, Responsible Tourism is tourism that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit. The objectives of the campaign are to build bridge gaps in understanding between the tourism sector, the environment sector, and the public regarding the interdependency of their interests; and articulate best practices for the tourism industry to implement in order to ensure sustainable tourism development that benefits Palau, provides high quality visitor experience and minimizes impact on the environment. In the end, the visitors will have an exceptional experience, the environment is sustained and the Pristine Paradise. Palau brand for Palau is promoted.
Workshop participants from local Chinese tour operations were from Ming’s Tour, MK Tour, Trip Easy, BIIT, Airai Forest Villa, A-Way Marine and MET Tour. They learned environmental, cultural, historical and village best practices and behavior. They shared practices that add value and benefit to the tourism industry. They also shared negative behaviors with consequences to the environment. The tour operators were willing to adopt and apply best practices in their businesses and understood the consequences and penalties of regulations.
The partners for the campaign are the Palau Visitors Authority, Koror State Government, Melekeok State Government, Palau International Coral Reef Center and the Bureau of Tourism. Representatives from these agencies engage as a Responsible Tourism Committee implementing the main task providing oversight on activities. The Palau Responsible Tourism campaign benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation with the website address, www.fpa2.com [/restrict]