Visitors arrivals for the month of August went up by 2,000 compared to July of this year, based on the report released by Palau Visitors Authority. Still arrival numbers for August this year are below the arrival numbers for the same time last year.
The decline in total visitor arrivals compared to same time last year is attributed directly to the reduction in the number of visitors from China market. In August of 2017, arrivals from China was at 7,425 and this August it was at 4,613.
With the pull out of Palau Pacific Airways, visitor numbers from China dropped to 3,787 in July but rebounded back this August by 1,000 more visitors, raising arrivals by China to 4,613 or 42% of the market share.
Other key markets held their numbers steady. Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Europe saw increases this month compared to July.
Overall visitor nights is still significantly below August 2017 numbers at -18% despite some improvement over last month.
Palau Visitors Authority says it will continue to monitor key market performances and recommend strategies for improving them.
Earlier, PVA Chairman Ngirai Tmetuchl reported that they were working with SOJITZ group to promote Palau, utilizing SOJITZ’s vast network and clout to bring in more airlines to Palau.
Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang says the government expects the visitors numbers to continue to be low until next year when on-going airline negotiations conclude. “For FYI 2018 budget, we projected our revenue based on 129 thousand arrivals. As of yesterday, we have reached 120k. We may fall short of that number but we are close to it and therefore can safely adjust our spending to ensure balance budget.”
For FY 2019, the government projected about 117 thousand arrivals compared to 120K this year but declared optimism that this may change around January of 2019. (L.N. Reklai)