JAPAN AIRLINES CUTS GUAM SERVICE AGAIN

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 24) - In another signal
of continued decline in Japanese visitor arrivals, Japan Airlines announced
yesterday a further reduction in flights, this time affecting the Nagoya-Guam
route.

The airline said it will reduce its Nagoya-Guam flight frequency
from seven to three a week between May 7 and May 31 -- its announcement made
with the backdrop of a travel decline that has troubled Asian airlines since
severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, became highly publicized last month.

JAL last month announced a reduction of weekly flight frequency
by half -- from 14 to 7 -- between Tokyo and Guam because of a wartime drop in
travel demand.

Guam visitor arrivals declined 32 percent last month amid
dampened travel, which island visitor industry officials have blamed on
Supertyphoon Pongsona last December, the war in Iraq and, most recently, SARS.

Guam Visitors Bureau board Chairman David Tydingco said any time
airlines reduce seat capacity to Guam, the more difficult it is for the island
visitor industry to recover from a host of challenges.

Just as Guam visitor numbers were in a recovery mode early last
year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, tourist arrivals started slipping
back to double-digit declines since the aftermath of Typhoon Chata'an in July.

Tydingco said the challenge for the island visitor industry is
to drum up travel to Guam effectively enough so that visitor numbers will start
to pick up and encourage airlines to restore flights and seat capacity for the
island.

Lt. Gov. Kaleo Moylan on Tuesday promised to set aside $1.2
million in supplemental funding out of the government of Guam General Fund for
tourism recovery efforts.

That is a step in the right direction, according to Tydingco.

But the visitors bureau is hoping to receive a more substantial
funding boost.

The visitors bureau's main source of money is the Tourist
Attraction Fund, which has declined steadily because it is funded by hotel
occupancy tax collections, which rise and fall with tourist arrival numbers.

Without funding from sources besides the Tourist Attraction
Fund, the visitors bureau will have only about $2 million left for marketing
through the rest of the fiscal year, not enough to effectively compete against
rival vacation destinations, such as Hawaii, GVB General Manager Tony Lamorena
has said.

April 24, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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