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Niche or Mass Market?: The Regional Context of Tourism in Palau

Niche or Mass Market?: The Regional Context of Tourism in Palau Niche or Mass Market? The Regional Context of Tourism in Palau Lonny Carlile Palau is currently at a crossroads. No longer able to rely on the aid and assistance from Washington that had come to play a central role in its economy, Palau, which gained independence in October 1994, is faced with the daunting task of building a self-sustaining national economy in a turbulent and rapidly globalizing world. This tiny Pacific Island country has few natural resources to exploit and is unlikely to duplicate the man- ufacturing-based, export-led growth strategy of the so-called East Asian model. As in other small island nations, international tourism is currently being touted as the viable industry for the country, and this in turn has precipitated debate over the merits of tourism-based development. International tourism development is often discussed as if it were akin to selling a commodity in a centralized global exchange — offer the “prod- uct” on the “market” and customers will “buy” according to the princi- ples of supply and demand. While such a characterization might be valid at a highly aggregated, abstract level over the long run, the practical real- ity of national tourism development is one in which, to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Niche or Mass Market?: The Regional Context of Tourism in Palau

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 12 (2) – Jul 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464

Abstract

Niche or Mass Market? The Regional Context of Tourism in Palau Lonny Carlile Palau is currently at a crossroads. No longer able to rely on the aid and assistance from Washington that had come to play a central role in its economy, Palau, which gained independence in October 1994, is faced with the daunting task of building a self-sustaining national economy in a turbulent and rapidly globalizing world. This tiny Pacific Island country has few natural resources to exploit and is unlikely to duplicate the man- ufacturing-based, export-led growth strategy of the so-called East Asian model. As in other small island nations, international tourism is currently being touted as the viable industry for the country, and this in turn has precipitated debate over the merits of tourism-based development. International tourism development is often discussed as if it were akin to selling a commodity in a centralized global exchange — offer the “prod- uct” on the “market” and customers will “buy” according to the princi- ples of supply and demand. While such a characterization might be valid at a highly aggregated, abstract level over the long run, the practical real- ity of national tourism development is one in which, to

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 1, 2001

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