1 May 2006

Marshalls government hotel makes profit under private management

1:31 pm on 1 May 2006

For the first time in its 10-year history, the government-owned and built Marshall Islands Resort hotel turned a profit in 2005.

The resort general manager, Bill Weza, says that the just-received Deloitte and Touche audit for 2005 confirms a net profit of over 24,000 US dollars.

Reports say it's the first time since the 150-room hotel was opened in 1996 that it has been out of the red.

The government paid for the approximately 12 million US dollars to build the hotel in order to host the Pacific Islands Forum meeting of heads of state, held in Majuro in 1996.

The departure of Outrigger Hotels in early 2004 relieved the government of paying about 400,000 US dollars annually in management fees to the Hawaii-based company.

Following Outrigger's departure after the government decided to cancel its management contract,

local business, Pacific International Inc. took over operation of the hotel in a partnership deal with the government that has proved successful.

Tourism is small in the Marshall Islands, with only about 6,000 visitors arriving annually.