“Congratulations are in order to the Guam Visitors Bureau and all the hard working women and men in our island’s top industry. A new record in visitor arrivals last month is another milestone worth noting. There was much to celebrate in March 2017, especially with Chamorro month being the highlight for our local residents and guests. I encourage everyone to continue supporting tourism. Biba Guam!”
— Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
Best March recorded in Guam’s tourism history
Guam’s tourism industry continues to grow. Our island welcomed 140,662 visitors in March 2017, breaking the previous record of 136,728 visitors set four years ago in March 2013.
“There’s no place in the world like our island paradise and it’s clear that visitors want to discover what is only on Guam,” said Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio. “Tourism thrives with our Chamorro culture and the warm hospitality of our people in full display. Let’s continue to welcome our visitors and show them our Håfa Adai spirit.”
Korea and Hong Kong arrivals continue to grow
Guam’s second largest market of Korea saw an increase of 49.2% compared to the previous year. Hong Kong arrivals also grew 103.8%, assisted by the third full month of air service from HK Express.
“With the diversification and growth of our different source markets, visitors have more options to experience Guam,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “We are working hard to improve the quality of the visitor experience and focusing on projects that keep safety at the forefront, such as the full rehabilitation of the streetlights in Tumon. Tourism works for Guam in so many ways and we thank our community for their support.”
GVB Japan charter support underway
The biggest challenge facing the Japan market is a lack of seating capacity. Airline carriers such as Delta and Korean Air have recently pulled out of gateways within Japan, like Osaka and Nagoya. In 2012, there were almost 1.4 million seats between Japan and Guam, with this number decreasing to less than 1 million in 2016.
In response, GVB launched a Japan airline incentive program to increase seat capacity in the short term. The program has already seen results; during the month of March, airlines added more than 10,000 additional seats with over 60 charter flights, which lessened the overall impact of the decreasing visitor arrivals from Japan (71,384 visitors, -9.9%).
Summary of arrivals
Guam welcomed 140,662 visitors in March 2017, which was a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year. Total Fiscal Year-to-Date arrivals rose 3.8%, while total Calendar Year-to-Date arrivals increased 1.3%.
Japan arrivals decreased by 9.9%, but its visitor spend increased from October 2016 – January 2017 by 5%. The Bureau is committed to continue working with travel agents and other travel trade professionals to support the growth of the Japan market. GVB and industry partners recently completed a 6-city roadshow tour in Sapporo, Sendai, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka from March 14-24, 2017. The tourism summit tour updated Japan’s travel trade on the Guam product and gave opportunities for Guam to strengthen its business relationships in Japan.
Meanwhile, other markets showed growth in visitor arrivals to Guam. Korea arrivals increased by 49.2% and Australia arrivals rose by 13.1%. The Russia Federation also grew by 95.8%, while arrivals from Europe increased by 1.6%.
Media Contact: JOSH TYQUIENGCO - Public Information Officer