Visitor arrivals dropped in January compared last year
Still higher than same time 2014, pre-PRC market boom
By: L.N. Reklai
Visitor arrival statistics for January 2017 shows a decline of 17.8% compared to January of 2016. The total arrivals last month was 11,654 whereas January of 2016 saw total arrivals of 14,183. [restrict]
There was an increase in number of visitors this January from PRC and Korea compared to same time last year but all other markets show decline.
One factor for decline in numbers is attributed to one of charter flights, Trans Asia going out of business.
Despite the drop, the numbers show that January 2017 arrivals were higher than January 2014 which was at 10,933. 2015 saw over 300% increase in PRC market arrivals in one year due to increased number of charter flights coming from PRC. It led to calls to leadership cut the number of charter flights. Numbers of weekly flights by each chartered airline were halved in April of 2015.
Projections for 2017 visitor arrivals expects decline over 2016 numbers. Some contributing factors cited by President Remengesau and tourism industry include strength of the dollar against currencies in key visitor markets, international turmoil and increase in price of oil of potentially affecting number of visitor arrivals to Palau in 2017. [/restrict]