March 2015 ranks 5th in top visitor arrivals

April 14, 2015

NOTE: The following is a joint release from Governor Calvo and the Guam Visitors Bureau.

“This is an exciting time for Guam tourism. I just returned from a trade mission to Korea and China. During our meetings, China Southern Airlines committed to direct flights from Shenyang City to Guam. We also will have two additional flights starting service from Korea to Guam in the summer. We’re seeing the hard work and investment we’ve put into this industry pay off — but we’re not stopping anytime soon. I have total confidence that GVB and our tourism industry will keep our island moving in the right direction for years to come.” 

 — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo

Tourism numbers continue to break records

March is historically a peak period for visitor arrivals and March 2015 showed numbers that exceeded expectation. The Guam Visitors Bureau Research Department confirmed that March 2015 is the second best March in the history of tourism, with 132,334 visitors.

It also broke into the top five months, beating out the August 2001 record of 132,249 visitors to become the fifth top banner month. March 2013 remains at the top of the list with the highest monthly visitor arrival record of 136,728.

The positive news follows GVB’s announcement that February 2015 arrivals were ranked as the top February for visitor arrivals in Guam's history, recording 126,080 visitors.

"Visitor arrivals continue to soar to new heights, which proves our markets are diversifying and growing in line with the Tourism 2020 plan,” said GVB General Manager Nathan Denight. “This is the second consecutive month that arrivals have broken records. Guam is the place to be and having more visitors coming to our island paradise means more opportunities to share our irreplaceable Chamorro culture, strengthen our local economy and create more jobs for our people.”

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo returned yesterday from a trade mission trip to the cities of Incheon and Seoul in Korea, and Shenyang in China. During the trade mission, the governor and foreign officials were able to confirm additional flights from Korea and China, which are fast-growing tourism markets for Guam.

Summary of arrivals

In March 2015, Guam welcomed 132,334 visitors, which is about a 0.8% increase when compared to the previous year, or 1,081 more visitors. With an increase in arrivals for January 2015 (+1.2%) and February 2015 (+7.7%), March 2015 now marks the third consecutive month of year over year growth. Looking at the bigger picture, total Fiscal Year-to-Date arrivals are up 1.4% and Calendar Year-to-Date arrivals have gone up by 3.2%.

Japan arrivals and Japan outbound travel may be down, but Yen spending for on-island and pre-paid expenses has actually grown by 1.05%. These efforts are part of Guam’s initiative to offer higher-class packages that focus on hotel suite rooms, luxury spa treatments and quality optional tours.

Korea continues to make the strongest gains as Guam's second top source market in visitor arrivals, rising 27%. The People's Republic of China also demonstrated significant growth shooting up 129.8%. Meanwhile, other visitor markets also documented diversification and growth.  Arrivals from Taiwan grew 1.2%, while the Philippines rose by 6.2%. Additional markets that showed growth include Hawaii by 16.7% and the U.S. mainland by 17.7%.

It also should be noted that Civilian Sea Arrivals increased by 364.9% when compared to the previous year.

Guam Top 15 Banner Arrivals

Rank Month/Year      Guam Arrivals

1. Mar 2013                136,728

2. Aug 1995                135,710

3. Aug 2013                134,355

4. Aug 2014                133,237

5. Mar 2015                132,334

6. Aug 2001                132,249

7. Aug 2012                131,988

8. Mar 2014                131,255

9. Jul 1997                  130,929

10. Aug 1997              129,270

11. Aug 2007              128,923

12. Aug 2000              127,555

13. Jul 1995                127,082

14. Mar 2012              126,376

15. Feb 2015               126,080

Source: Guam Customs Declaration Forms. Processed by the Guam Visitors Bureau.

Media Contact: JOSH TYQUIENGCO - Public Information Officer