Category - Tourism

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Tourism’s Take-Off in Micronesia
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A Few Weeks in Palau

Tourism’s Take-Off in Micronesia

In the 1960s everything seemed possible. Want to grow a major tourist industry for a small island nation? No problem.

Continental Airlines had just entered the region, bringing jets and the promise of a strong marketing campaign. “Feel the warmth of Paradise” was the slogan on the posters that were beginning to appear in Asian and American cities.  Within a few years, Continental built its own hotels in Palau, Chuuk, and Saipan.

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A Few Weeks in Palau

Here we are in Palau, an island group with a per capita income four times higher than that of the rest of Micronesia. “The Land of Gold Chains and Fancy Watches” is what one of our Jesuit volunteer teachers used to call it some years ago. It’s a place that is on the map–-Darryl Hannah and JFK Jr. vacationed here 20 years ago, and the Survivor TV series was filmed here ten years ago. The country has been self-governing for only 35 years, but it has had two presidents who died violent deaths–-one who was assassinated and another who shot himself. It’s never exactly been Dullsville here in Palau. Where else, a friend once asked, could you strike up a serious conversation on current political affairs with a total stranger? Read More

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