More countries are now feeling the brunt of the impact of the global coronavirus outbreak. Palau, whose economy relies very much on tourism revenues, is the latest island economy to feel its effects.
The Palau government is anticipating a massive revenue drop as a result of the decrease in tourist arrivals to the Pacific island nation.
This week, President Tommy Remengesau Jr. urged his ministers to carefully manage expenditures in anticipation of the tourism revenue downturn.
According to the Palau Office of the President, the latest tourist arrival numbers show a 43 percent drop in visitor arrivals from Palau’s major markets in the month of February.
During the weekly cabinet meeting, the president asked his ministers to “exercise financial caution and make necessary expense cuts as Palau rides out this black eye” — referring to the coronavirus outbreak. He specifically cited travel and recruitment as areas in which the ministers can save money during the downturn.
He also reminded everyone that Palau recovered from similar situations in the past, such as the SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreaks a few years ago.
Remengesau has also asked the Bureau of Tourism and the Palau Visitors Authority to work with the private sector to look at other expected impacts the outbreak will have on the economy.