South Korea Surpasses Japan As Top Tourist Market For Guam

First time in nearly 50 years Japan didn't send most visitors to U.S. territory

By Gaynor D. Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (The Guam Daily Post, May 15, 2017) — Guam’s visitor arrivals last month showed South Korea has become the island’s No. 1 tourist market, edging out Japan, which had the top spot for nearly half a century.

South Korean arrivals increased 38 percent last month compared to the same period last year, totaling 53,517 tourists.

South Korean arrivals made up 44 percent of Guam’s entire visitor arrivals, compared to Japan’s 41 percent last month, according to Guam Visitors Bureau data.

Japan has dropped to the No. 2 visitor market for Guam, posting 49,834 tourist arrivals last month, according to preliminary GVB numbers.

Thanks to robust visitor arrival numbers from South Korea, April’s overall tourist arrivals surpassed the previous record held 20 years ago, according to the governor’s office.

Guam welcomed 122,622 visitors, breaking the 1997 record of 105,586 visitors, the governor’s office stated.

“It’s clear Guam is attracting more visitors to our shores and people want to get a taste of our Håfa Adai spirit and Chamorro culture,” said Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio in a press release. “Guam’s No. 1 one industry supports over 20,000 jobs in our community. I encourage everyone to thank our hospitality workers as we celebrate Tourism Month in May.”

After months of decline, arrivals from Japan did eke out a 1 percent increase last month, according to GVB’s preliminary statistics.

It’s the first time in months that Japan arrivals showed an increase, though slightly.

During the first four months of this year, Japan arrivals showed an 11 percent decrease, while arrivals from South Korea increased 29 percent.

The April numbers also showed Taiwan had a 24 percent growth, but arrivals from mainland China dipped 6 percent.

More tourists from the Philippines, which posted a 13 percent increase, visited Guam last month, than tourists from mainland China.

Marianas Variety
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