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On Your Mark, Get Set… Tourism’s Take-Off in Micronesia

Francis X. Hezel, SJ

When Continental Air Micronesia inaugurated regular jet air service to the Trust Territory in the late 1960s, it opened commercial possibilities for islands then struggling with an uncertain political and economic future. Tourism became a distant hope as an engine for economic growth. In 1970, Continental built three new 50 room hotels in Chuuk, Palau, and the Northern Marianas and began vigorously promoting the islands as a Pacific paradise getaway destination. What happened over subsequent decades in these three island groups is the subject of this study. It offers lessons for other island nations hoping for a tourism boom today.

Business Economics