Senator Muna-Barnes Meets With Palau’s New President Tommy Remengesau, Jr.

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Guam -Senator Tina Muna-Barnes met this past week with Palau’s new President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. to congratulate him on his election and discuss regional issue of interest.

In a release, the Chair of the Committee on Tourism said she had several meetings with key Palauan government officials and agencies including the Palau Visitors Authority to discuss ongoing issues and new developments in the tourism industry relevant to Palau and Guam.

She says she discussed, among other items:

* efforts of the Micronesian Cruise Association and the potential for European cruise liners coming to the islands

* an analysis of growth along country-of-origin lines, including the increase of tourists from Russia

*  the need for a unified approach to bringing down inter-island airfare costs, which pose an obstacle to tourism between the islands.

[Senator Tina Muña Barnes at the ribbon cutting ceremony for for the Palau National Aquaculture Center]

READ the release from Senator Muna-Barnes below:

“SENATOR TINA MUÑA BARNES MEETS WITH NEWLY INSTALLED LEADERSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU INCLUDING PRESIDENT THOMAS ESANG REMENGESAU, JR., AND REPRESENTATIVES OF OEK-HOUSE OF DELEGATES, AS WELL AS TOURISM OFFICIALS; DISCUSSES REGIONAL COOPERATION IN TOURISM.”

Hagåtña- January 22, 2013—Senator Tina Muña Barnes met with the newly installed leadership of the government of Palau this past week, personally extending her congratulations to President Thomas (“Tommy”) Remengesau, Jr., and representatives of the Olbiil Era Kelulau-House of Delegates including Speaker Sabino Anastacio and Vice Speaker Alexander Merep.

During her visit, Senator Muña Barnes, Chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, had several meetings with key governmental officials and agencies including the Palau Visitors Authority to discuss ongoing issues and new developments in the tourism industry relevant to Palau and Guam.  Renewing her commitment to deepening regional ties, Senator Muña Barnes discussed, among other items, efforts of the Micronesian Cruise Association and the potential for European cruise liners coming into the islands; analysis of growth along country-of-origin lines, including the increase of tourists from Russia in both jurisdictions and the need for more aggressive marketing given the recent data showing they average longer stays and spend more during those stays than the average tourist; and, finally, the need for a unified approach to bringing down inter-island airfare costs, which pose an obstacle to tourism between the islands.

“It is important that we remain committed to strengthening our regional relationships and to collaborate toward that end,” says Senator Muña Barnes.  “To take but one example, the cost of regional travel has risen beyond reach for many, which needs to be looked at seriously.  By working with our legislative and tourism industry counterparts in Palau and across Micronesia, we are better able to discuss issues of regional importance, with third parties in both the private sector as well as the federal government.”

In 2010, Senator Muña Barnes was bestowed the title of “Honorary Citizen of Palau” by the Palau Senate for her continued efforts, assistance, and friendship to the Republic of Palau.