Taipei, New Taipei residents jump into Palau travel bubble

  • By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

Residents of Taipei and New Taipei City aged 25 to 44 are most likely to join group tours to Palau, which has requested a “travel bubble” with Taiwan, a survey by online travel platform KKday showed on Monday.

The platform began selling package tours to the Micronesian country on Wednesday last week, despite the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) having yet to finalize the tours and announce the details.

As of yesterday, all of the tours to Palau were sold out.

Photo: CNA

An analysis of nearly 1,000 people booking the tours showed that more than 80 percent are aged 25 to 44, with most of them living in Taipei and New Taipei City.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they were frequent travelers to Japan or South Korea, and had never visited Palau, the platform said.

While they were accustomed to independent travel, they are interested in the package tours to Palau amid the pandemic, it added.

Prior to booking the Palau tours, they had also booked “pretend” tours on airlines, such as China Airlines’ retirement tour for a Boeing 747-400 aircraft on Saturday, the platform said.

Yesterday, travel operators said that China Airlines is to offer two charter flights to Palau per week during the first two weeks after the proposed Palau tours are launched.

In the third week, four charter flights are to be available to Palau, as EVA Airways would add services, they said.

Palau Pacific Airways is to add one flight per week from the fourth week, travel operators said, adding that the carrier would be leasing the aircraft and flight attendants from Taiwan Tigerair.

People could choose a four-day or five-day tour package, they added.

An aviation pact between Taiwan and Palau caps the number of flights offered by each nation at eight flights per week, the travel operators said.

Whether additional flights would be made available depends on the popularity of the tours, they added.

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