Guam Tourist Arrivals Reach Record 1.4 Million

admin's picture

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Surge in South Korean arrivals boost numbers

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 15, 2016) – A surge in South Korean arrivals boosted Guam’s tourism industry to a new record of 1.4 million tourists last year.

Guam’s previous record was 1,381,513 in 1997 before the Asian financial crisis, according to Guam Visitors Bureau numbers.

The 39-percent increase in South Korean arrivals — 427,900 visitors—helped to offset a decline in arrivals from Guam’s largest visitor market, Japan.

Japan arrivals dipped 4.7 percent, to 773,019, last year. That’s 37,837 fewer arrivals from Japan compared to the previous year.

Industry experts have previously attributed the reduced tourist arrivals from Japan as having been influenced by the weakened value of the yen against the dollar, making U.S. destinations like Guam more expensive.

As Japan’s economy slowed, there also has been a push by the Japanese government to encourage domestic travel, including to Okinawa, Pacific Daily News files show.

Guam saw 23,698 visitors from mainland China, a 45.6 increase compared to 2014.

Gov. Eddie Calvo said tourism’s new record is the result of a team effort and he thanked those who contributed to it.

"From the marketing teams that created the campaigns, to the teams that executed them, to the people at the airlines and the men and women who work in the service industry, and every resident who smiled and made a visitor feel welcome, this achievement is the product of a team effort," he said.

Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio said, "I am thankful diversification efforts are in place, especially as Japan works to regain its footing, which I’m confident will happen with time."

This year is expected to be another busy time for Guam, which will host the Pacific Asia Travel Association Annual Summit, the Festival of Pacific Arts and other events, according to GVB.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment