The Team

Founder – Sam Scott

Sam Scott, originally from Olympia, Washington State, USA, moved to Palau at the age of 20 to join his Palauan stepfather who had been appointed Paramount High Chief or “Ibedul” under Palau's system of traditional leadership, a position he holds till this day.

Sam immediately took to exploring Palau's vast reef systems, hidden waterways, offshore fishing grounds and forgotten jungles. In the process, developed knowledge of Palau's natural wonders and hidden secrets second to none. A natural love for the ocean environment and a never-ending willingness to go the extra mile in sharing his adventures with his guests made Sam a much sought after guide and quickly earned Sam's Tours its now longstanding reputation for personalized service unparalleled by others.

Sam is a PADI Professional Divemaster with over 10,000 logged dives and still enjoys diving, being in the Rock Islands and fishing. He can be found most afternoons casually mingling with guests and sharing his "fish tales" at Bottom Time Bar & Grill located at the waterfront at Sam's Tours, unless of course he's out wakeboarding--another of his favorite sports!

It's nice to know that nearly 25 years later, Sam's Tours' customers can all get to meet Sam to answer their most frequently asked question, “Is there really a Sam in Sam's Tours?”

Managing Director – Dermot Keane

Dermot originally came to Palau in 1997 as a tourist, with plans to take a few years off to go sailing on his boat. He has been in Palau ever since. In addition to managing the company since 1998, Dermot is an active member of the Palau community, including Palau Chamber of Commerce, Belau Tourism Association, and other local organizations. In 2001 he founded Palau Shark Sanctuary, Palau’s first shark conservation organization that was instrumental in Palau's official declaration as a Shark Sanctuary in 2009. Originally from Ireland, Dermot spent 18 years in corporate America, until he fell in love in, and with, Palau. Dermot and his Palauan wife Kauderael, are proud parents of four children, who are prominent athletes in Palau, with his older daughter having represented Palau in swimming in the 2012 Olympic Games in London!

Director of Sales and Marketing – Marc Bauman

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Marc fell in love with Palau in the late 1990s, when he was visiting his younger brother, a marine biologist, who was living on Palau at the time.  An industry veteran, Marc has managed several large dive centers worldwide prior to joining Sam's as Director of Sales and Marketing in 2008. He is passionate about sharks and actively involved in shark conservation efforts, as well as being involved with various dive industry and local organizations. Marc is a dive instructor with over 8000 dives and has worked with a variety of underwater documentary television shows and IMAX films over the years as well. Known for always being on the go, much of his time is spent traveling the globe promoting Palau and Sam's Tours.

European Office c/o Tourism Unlimited

Our European office, supervised by Judith and Christoph Hoppe, authors of the first travel and dive guide to Palau in German, Palau: Ein Tauch- und Reiseführer, assists guests from Europe in planning their vacation in Palau. In addition, they work with the European media to ensure our good news travel further and handle our European trade show attendance--most importantly the BOOT show in Duesseldorf, Germany, every January. They also manage our European tour operators and agency network.

Dive Deck (Operations)

Our Dive Deck, managed by Operations Manager, Gianrico Mureddu, or simply, Rico, and supervised by Torsten Krause, is run from a round bar table near the activity board. This is where everything happens, and where divers and guests meet the guides to start their daily adventure. The dive deck oversees the daily operations at Sam’s Tours and supervises all dive guides and boat captains.

Sales and Marketing Department

The Sales and Marketing Department, supervised by Li Li Tey, is responsible for all guests' communications above water. The Reservations Division handles all bookings--from the initial guests' (or agent, on behalf of the guest) reservation inquiries to ongoing communications--while providing information for making your trip to Palau the vacation of a lifetime. The staff of the Front Desk Division is the first smiley face you’ll meet upon arrival, assisting you with registration upon check-in, and from this moment on, with all questions, scheduling, additional bookings and what not, throughout your stay.

Training Department

The Training Department, headed by Eric Loske, a PADI IDC Staff, with over 10 years of experience, conducts all dive training at Sam’s Tours, from Open Water to Dive Master courses. Our newly renovated training center is home to our training department, where divers and future divers have a relaxed, conducive environment to master the theoretical portion of their courses.

Maintenance Department

The Maintenance Department, supervised by Q Cann, is responsible for maintaining all resources in a top-notch working condition for our guests, including boats, docks, vehicles, and all facilities.