© Cristina Mittermeier

Sustainable travel: Palau rewards environmentally conscious tourists

The Pacific island republic of Palau offers travelers rewards for environmentally conscious behavior via a bonus app – and exclusive access to places otherwise inaccessible to tourists.

19 July 2022

Studies show that more and more travelers don't just want to experience the beauty of nature – they also want to protect it. There are still corners of this world that are more or less untouched pieces of paradise. One of them is the island nation of Palau. It consists of almost 500 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean. The region has always epitomized on ecotourism. With the development of the app "Ol'au Palau," mindful travelers are about to be rewarded for their eco-consciousness.

Climate conscious travel to Palau

Tourists can download the app for free and register online. All they have to do is indicate which climate-friendly measures they've actively taken. For example, whether they've offset their previously calculated carbon footprint. Points are also awarded for avoiding single-use plastic, consuming food with locally sourced ingredients, and using environment friendly sunscreens. Gradually, travelers unlock more and more special offers.


PalauThe islands in the Pacific Ocean are famous for their untouched nature. The responsibility to protect it doesn't lie soley with the locals – it's also up to the tourists. © Cristina Mittermeier

Sustainable behavior is rewarded

These offers include excursions to remote places normally reserved for locals. Or meet-and-greets with village elders, spectacular hikes off the tourist trail, swimming in a secret cave, and fishing using traditional Palauan methods. "This is our way of rewarding our extra mindful guests and protecting our most valuable asset: the pristine nature of Palau and our unique culture," said Alan T. Marbou, board member of the Tourism Authority.


PalauWith just a few simple measures, everyone can help preserve paradise. © Marek Okon

Out of office: Off to save the world

The "Ol'au Palau" app is not the only measure that Palau is taking to promote climate-conscious travel. Since 2017, all visitors have signed the "Palau Pledge," which is stamped into their passports. With their signature, visitors promise the children of Palau to protect their nature and culture.

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