Kayaking paradise: developing kayaking as a tourism activity in the Republic of Palau

King, Lisa M. (1996) Kayaking paradise: developing kayaking as a tourism activity in the Republic of Palau. In: Proceedings of the World Congress of Coastal and Marine Tourism, pp. 145-148. From: 1996 World Congress of Coastal and Marine Tourism , 19-22 June 1996, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

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Abstract

Kayaking experts increasingly agree that the best warm water tour kayaking in the world is in the Republic of Palau. Visitors paddle in clear blue lagoons for a chance to view sea turtles, sunken sea planes, explore secluded sea caves, or land on palm-shaded beaches and admire Palau's phenomenal scenery. For the more adventurous, river kayaking offers opportunities to view stunning waterfalls, or, in the quiet mangrove channels, spot an endangered crocodile. Nowhere else can a visitor fund such a diverse array of easily accessible kayaking options as Palau.

Kayak companies are discovering and actively promoting a new spectrum of previously unknown, overlooked, or rarely used coastal and snorkeling sites with high visitor appeal. Previously, visitation to these areas had been regulated by access problems, tour guide awareness of the site and the ability to find its actual location. Increased visitation to particular sites carries with it concerns about minimizing visitor impacts and enhancing visitor safety. Although present kayak companies are careful concerning site usage and are self-regulating, as key site information becomes common knowledge, overuse by other tour companies will become a problem.

As Palau moves to diversify its tourism base away from diving and into a variety of other low impact sustainable activities including kayaking, general tourism guidelines and regulations as well as specific tour guide education requirements need to developed and adopted. Recommendations concerning the carrying capacity of certain visitor sites, as well as decisions concerning the quality of a visitor's experience while at these sites, need to be addressed before detrimental impacts occur to these beautiful and often fragile areas.

Item ID: 5654
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: kayaks; kayaking; Republic of Palau; Micronesia; tour guide education; diving
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ISBN: 978-1-881826-09-5
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2009 00:23
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150604 Tourism Marketing @ 50%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 50%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 100%
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