Island Nation Decides It Only Wants Rich Visitors

Palau wants to restrict development to luxury hotels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2017 8:18 AM CST
Country Wants to Become 'Luxury Only' Destination
Palau is made up of around 250 islands.   (WikiMedia/LuxTonnerre)

The Pacific island nation of Palau boasts some stunning sights—but they don't want just anybody coming to check them out. The country's president, Tommy Remengesau, is planning to introduce legislation restricting hotel development to five-star chains, a move that would effectively make Palau a "luxury only" nation, the Telegraph reports. Remengesau says mass tourism is damaging the environment of Palau, which is made up of around 250 islands, and he wants to pursue a "quality not quantity" strategy.

"There's a right way to do things and there's a wrong way to do things," says the president, per the BBC. And when it comes to development, he adds, "the best spots around the world have blended in with the environment." Radio New Zealand notes that the proposal comes after massive growth in tourism over the last couple of years, most of which involved package tours from mainland China. Remengesau says tourism spending actually went up after steps were taken to reduce the number of charter flights from China. (A tourism slogan in Australia is pretty darn explicit.)

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