Lucky 13 – Bill’s Update #7
Among all the – almost depressing – news from around the world there’s also some good news that reaches our shores. We’re very proud to have been voted in the top 25 of resorts for the (South) Pacific region which included Australia and New Zealand. Knowing that there are more that 20,000 resorts/hotels in this region, coming in on #13 is quite an accomplishment and being rewarded with the “2020 Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award”.
This is actually the 2nd time we are voted in the top 25. “Back” in 2017 was the first time and a good friend of mine wrote to me “Not only has Yap never won before… there’s never been dive resort win as it isn’t an official category.” Again, like in 2017 we are the only dive resort and the only resort in Micronesia/Palau in the top 25. For the full list please click here. Only a handful of Travelers’ Choice winners are now honored as Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best, representing the most exceptional, highest-rated properties around the world. These businesses are among the top 1% of all listings on TripAdvisor. In addition to these two years of being included with the Best of the Best, we have also been awarded with TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award 8 years running.
Although closed we’re planning to have a small get-together with our staff to celebrate this achievement. Obviously a big “Thank You” for all those that submitted an “Excellent” review on TripAdvisor the last 12 months. For those who haven’t done yet, please give us a head-start by submitting your review here.
The Acker family (l to r, Numie, Bill, Patricia & OP Acker) showing off
our Trip Advisor award
The prospects for reopening any time soon remain not very positive and where countries around the world try to deal with the “new normal” our leaders are focusing on keeping the status-quo. From a public healthcare perspective an understandable choice, but just hoping that some willingness to start discussing the format of an exit strategy will be shown soon. We understand that our customers are trying to plan 2021 vacations and we are hoping to be able to let you know when we may be able to accept guests as well as what protocols those guests will need to adhere to in order to be allowed into the country. Please bear with us. We are working on it.
DEMA 2020 that was supposed to take place in New Orleans this year was already cancelled by its organizers. Although InterDive Friedrichshafen 2020, BOOT Duesseldorf and InterDive Frankfurt in 2021 are still planned to take place, I’m afraid that we won’t attend those shows. We’ll all miss meeting old friends and tell new friends about our beautiful island, but the reality is that it doesn’t make sense to go there not knowing when we’re going to be open again. This beside the fact that we probably could leave on one of the monthly flights out but getting back home will be a challenge until flights are back to normal again.
Patricia, Bill & Detlef with two of our regular repeat guests Hubert & Brigitta
Doesn’t mean though that we can’t take your questions and inquiries though. If you have questions about our new hotel/dive packages, best way to get to Yap or any other question about your next dive vacation to Yap please let me know and drop me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my last post I told you about the marine biology program we were hosting for students at Yap’s Catholic High School. The program is finished, and it was a great experience for both the kids and I.
The last day of the program was a snorkel at Vertigo. Needless to say, that all of them were thrilled and super excited, one thing I learned though is that snorkeling with a group of teenagers at a shark site is quite “challenging and intense” so to say. See the video and photos shot by Jarvis Falow, giving you an idea of this year’s program. Planning to repeat next year and actually have it part of a Family Dive Vacation package where the parents go out diving and their kids join our local teenagers in the program. Is there a better way to learn about Yap’s marine life and rich culture than joining a local program like this?
I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I will give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.
“Reason #1 Not to come to Yap”
If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.
“Reason #2 Not to come to Yap”
If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.
“Reason #3 Not to come to Yap”
If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.
“Reason #4 Not to come to Yap”
If you don’t like that your room, the dive shop, the dive boat dock, the bar/restaurant, and all other facilities are within a maximum of 2 minutes “walk”, don’t come to Yap. We are built by and for divers. Personalized service and convenience is our goal.
As you know, all but a few of our employees are unfortunately – temporary – laid-off. One of the first thing I told my staff was, “if you want to learn a new skill or get an extra diploma/certificate, this is the time to do it”.
Happily my words did not fall on deaf ears. Numie started to pick-up video editing, as you might have noticed via our Facebook page, and a new video from her hands is coming soon. Detlef is learning the art of fiber glassing and Jude is improving his farmer’s skills with great results. I’m very proud of all of them and happy to let you know that OP has been certified as an SSI Instructor as well.
Jude OP Detlef Numie
We continue to go fishing, farm, and give staff access to Patricia’s taro patch to help them as much as we can. The Government also has a much-needed unemployment benefit scheme. Life is good but we miss our daily interactions with each other, and we all miss you – our customers – whom we consider to be friends and family. Until we are together again, please stay safe and healthy. These are unprecedented times indeed.