HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Feb. 3) A Guam Visitors Bureau-sponsored delegation of travel officials will go to Seoul, Korea to meet with airline officials there to persuade Asiana Airlines and Korean Airlines not to reduce their seat capacities to Guam.

"While visitors from Korea are considered a growth market, there is a steady erosion of seat capacity from that country which impacts Guam’s struggling tourist-based economy," said GVB General Manager Tony Lamorena.

Guam has experienced a 20 percent reduction in airline seat capacity over the last year due to low demand, loss of a direct flight route, and reconfiguration of aircraft.

"Increasing airline seat capacity and convincing the Korean travel industry that Guam is an aggressive promotional partner will be the major mission of the delegation trip," Lamorena said.

The delegation will also meet with major travel wholesalers, travel trade press, and host a travel agent seminar. The delegation will also host a booth at the largest wedding promotional trade show known as WEDDEX.

"This trip is the perfect opportunity for us to introduce our new board members as well as the newly elected legislative chairman on tourism, Senator Quinata, and to show Guam’s commitment to tourism," Lamorena said.

While introducing new tourism leaders, the delegation’s mission is to turn around the perception that Korean tour wholesalers have on Guam, especially after Supertyphoon Pongsona.

"We need to inform them that Guam is ready to welcome visitors on holiday," Lamorena said.

The GVB-sponsored delegation consists of Sen. John M. Quinata, Korea Marketing Committee Chairman Bart Jackson, GVB General Manager Tony Lamorena, GVB Marketing Manager Pilar Laguana, Marketing Officer II Gina Kono, and Miss Guam Tourism Xiomara Rodriguez. The delegates will be in Seoul from Feb. 4 to 6.

February 3, 2003

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