Palau’s economy hit by declining tourism

Koror (Pacific Note)- The weak visitor arrivals for 2018 have put a strain on Palau’s economy with all tourism-related revenues showing a slowdown.

Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang told the media at a press conference Wednesday that all the tourism-related revenue registered declines.

“There’s really an effect to the tourism-related revenue,” Sadang said.The downturn in the tourism industry is having an impact on the ability of the national government to meet its revenue collection target.

The government missed its target collection by 8 percent with the Fiscal Year 2018 revenues projected at $91,526,514 but the actual collection only reaching $89,250,541. In the unaudited ROP financial report, the biggest drop in tourism revenue was in the departure fee collected from each tourist in which only 26 percent was collected.

In actual numbers, the national treasury collected $612,240 against the projected amount of $2,312,210. Hotel occupancy tax fell short with $4,577,690 collected – 8 percent less than the budgeted amount of $4,953,732. While revenue collection failed to meet its target amount, finance minister

Sadang said the government recorded actual “revenue in excess of expenditures” of $1.3 millio