Vila Times

Palau started to collect $100 per visitor environmental fee

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Palau’s arrival form greets visitors with the line “Welcome to Palau -The Rainbow’s End,” a phrase that aptly sums up the country’s resplendent beauty.

Starting Janгфкн 1, 2018, every visitor coming to Palau will be assessed a $100 environmental fee. It’s part of the island nation’s move to promote high value tourism and first-rate tourism hospitality, Pacific Note reports.

Faced with a rough start and suffering delays since becoming law two years ago, the tourist fee named the “Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee” is finally being implemented. The environmental fee is the primary financing mechanism for the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. Enacted in October 2015, the marine sanctuary law seeks to preserve 80 percent (500,238 sq. km) of Palau’s exclusive economic zone as Palau National Marine Sanctuary and create a domestic fishing zone in the remaining 20 percent (85,896 sq. km). The law will be fully implemented in year 2020, following a five-year transition period.

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. says that the Palau National Marine Sanctuary is to create a sustainable lifeline for Palau’s food security, economic security and cultural security, by safeguarding the island’s marine environment.

The $100 fee will be allocated as follows: $10 to Fisheries Protection Trust Fund; $12.50 to state governments; $25 to the security, operation, maintenance, and improvement of the Palau International Airport (provided all funds from local revenue that would have been appropriated for those purposes shall be appropriated to the Civil Service Pension Fund); $30 earmarked for Protected Areas Network; and $22.50 to revert to the National Treasury.