For the first time, the U.S. MWR (Military Morale Welfare & Recreational Centre) has reached out to Palau businesses to discuss opportunities to participate in military tourism.
The Joint Region Marianas Warfighter and Family Readiness Quality of Life Team met with local businesses interested in providing services and travel packages for U.S. military service members.
“This was made possible through a request from President Whipps to Admiral Nicholson on how Palau can benefit from the military personnel in the region and those visiting/stationed in Palau,” explained Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl of HRCT&D Ministry.
“The meeting was quite good, and it provided a lot of useful information,” said Greg Gordon, owner of a B&B who attended the meeting.
The MWR was looking for “staycation” packages and offered a template on what they are interested in.
Gordon said they made them think of opportunities to link with other tourism operators to provide packages to provide quality experience and services to the U.S. military and their families.
“In short, it not only offers us the potential of a new customer source but also a path for developing new and much-needed tourist activities that can provide an additional income source to the Palauans living in the many villages of Babelthuap. I think we are only limited by our inability to think of new offerings to provide. It can be an excellent opportunity for young Palauan entrepreneurs to get a jump start on a successful business career,” expressed Gordon. There are over 50,000 military personnel and their families in Guam and the meeting was to help small business owners and boat operators learn how to tap this market.