"Despite being home to fewer than 20,000 residents, the Republic of Palau is
making an outsized impact to preserve the planet. Not only did the country –
made up of 300-plus islands in the West Pacific – adopt the world's first
anti-nuclear constitution in 1979, but it also implemented the Palau Pledge in
December 2017, which requires international visitors to sign a pledge stamp in
their passports that promises the children of Palau that they will "tread
lightly" and "preserve and protect" the islands.
Now, as the archipelago opens up to tourism again after two long years of
lockdown, a new programme called Ol'au Palau is offering a world-first
initiative of "gamifying" responsible tourism, whereby travellers will be
offered exclusive experiences based on how they treat the environment and
culture, not by how much they spend.
The programme, managed via a custom app that's launching in the coming months,
offers points to those who treat the island nation gently and respectfully by
making sustainable decisions like using reef-safe sunscreen, visiting
culturally important sites (such as the Belau National Museum and Bai, the
oldest in Micronesia) and eating sustainably sourced local food.
Guests can then redeem their points to unlock cultural and nature-based
experiences that are normally reserved for Palauans and their close friends,
such as taking an unmarked hike, swimming at a secret cave, sharing a meal with
locals and elders or casting a reel in a secluded fishing spot. It also
promises new experiences that may have once been rare for tourists to partake
in, including a first birth ceremony, which is an important cultural event."
Via Rodrigo Mesa and Christoph S.
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics