Lift-off for Taiwan-Palau travel bubble

01 April 2021

Lift-off for Taiwan-Palau travel bubble despite high price and pandemic terms and conditions

The quarantine-free arrangement allows Taiwanese to escape to Micronesia – as long as they are comfortable with Covid-19 tests and staying with the group.

The first China Airlines flight leaves for Palau on Thursday but critics say the trip is too expensive and the coronavirus measures too restrictive for it to be enjoyable.

Taiwan and Palau have kicked off their first quarantine-free “travel bubble”, with the hope of resuscitating their tourist sectors seriously battered in the past year by the Covid-19 pandemic and strict border control.

But Taiwanese tourism operators are not as optimistic over the policy as their government, saying the high prices and restrictions on the tour packages have scared potential tourists off planning a sightseeing trip to Palau.

A Boeing 737-800 from Taiwan’s major carrier, China Airlines, is expected to take off at 2.30pm on Thursday for the Micronesian island nation, with some 150 passengers on board, including 100 tourists and Palauan President Surangel Whipps who led a delegation to Taiwan on Sunday to initiate the travel bubble.

Initially, China Airlines will operate two flights a week, taking up to 110 Taiwanese tourists on each flight with about 40 seats reserved for Palauan officials and citizens, according to Taiwan’s tourism bureau.

The Taiwanese tourists, who paid NT$68,000-NT$85,000 (US$2,400-US$3,000) for the inaugural four-day trip in Palau, were expected to return on Sunday night, said Lin Hsin-jen, deputy director general of the tourism bureau.

Despite permission being given for the travel bubble, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre has a list of strict rules for travellers to Palau, starting with pre-travel procedures, covering time in Palau and extending to post-trip measures.


  • its a very big gamble for Palau in terms of Covid risks, lets keep our fingers crossed for them
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