Vice President William Lai (賴清德) plans to visit Palau next week to boost tourism and cooperation between the two countries, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday.
Lai and a 100-strong delegation are to depart for the Pacific ally on Tuesday next week for a three-day trip, Chang said.
The main focus of the trip would be to find ways to boost tourism in Palau, given that the sector, which is one of the country’s main sources of income, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, Chang said.
Photo: Su Yung-yao, Taipei Times
Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr earlier this month made a week-long visit to Taiwan, in which he attended the Double Ten National Day celebrations.
During his visit from Oct. 5 to 12, Whipps proposed deepening two-way travel and invited President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to Palau, as both sides have been relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and reopening their borders to tourists, Chang said.
However, due to a scheduling conflict, Tsai has asked Lai to visit Palau in her stead to show the high priority that the government places on ties with Palau, he said.
Taiwan on Oct. 13 dropped entry quarantine requirements for international arrivals and reopened its borders to all visitors.
China Airlines is expected to resume regular flights between Taiwan and Palau on Nov. 16, Chang said, adding that the government hopes travel between the two countries can quickly return to pre-pandemic levels.
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