Record Korea arrivals highlight month of July

August 14, 2015

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

“It has been a busy summer for tourism on Guam. The Guam Visitors Bureau and the hospitality industry have been working hard to ensure our visitors experience the best Guam has to offer - from cultural food and entertainment to our beautiful tropical shores. These efforts are leading to growing visitor numbers from a more diverse market. I congratulate GVB and its tourism partners for their hard work to reach out to our visitor markets and showcase the events, activities and experiences that can be found only on Guam.”

 – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo

Korea arrivals rank second in tourism history

The Guam Visitors Bureau Research Department confirmed that more than 114,956 visitors enjoyed our beautiful island in July 2015. This last month ranked second in the history of tourism for Korea arrivals, totaling 35,395 visitors. The top month for Korea arrivals still belongs to January 2015, with an arrivals count of 38,845. More direct flights through Air Busan, as well as T’Way Air’s upcoming service to Guam in October, will help boost arrivals in Guam’s second largest market.

“We are thrilled to see Korea and our other visitor markets continue diversifying and growing as we push forward with the Tourism 2020 plan,” said GVB General Manager Nathan Denight. “As we prepare to promote and market all the different signature events and activities into 2016, it opens up more doors to share our unique Chamorro culture and provide job opportunities for our people.”

GVB’s signature event, the Guam BBQ Block Party, as well as the Visit Guam 2016 Expo also helped attract arrivals for the month of July.

Focus on Japan

Total outbound from Japan is down because of the weak yen and Japanese tourists focusing more on domestic travel. Guam’s Japan arrivals have followed this negative trend, but GVB has spent extra efforts to reverse the decline.

Looking back on July 2014, Japan displayed a -13.5% drop. For July 2015, a -2.1% decrease was recorded. The bigger picture is that Japan continues to display encouraging signs of improvement and stabilization, with the gap in declining arrivals shrinking. GVB is also working with travel agents and continuing its aggressive marketing strategies to support positive growth in Guam’s top visitor market.

Summary of arrivals

Guam welcomed 114,956 visitors in July 2015, a 4.7% increase when compared to the previous year. Total Fiscal Year-to-Date arrivals are also up 1.9% and Calendar Year-to-Date arrivals have increased by 2.4%.

Although Japan arrivals displayed a slight decline, Korea arrivals showed an increase of 34%. The People's Republic of China also grew by 26.4%. Meanwhile, growth and diversification is also present in other visitor markets.  Palau rose 20.3% and Thailand increased by 392.9%. Additional markets that also grew include Canada by 23.4%, Hawaii by 9.9% and the U.S. mainland by 5.2%. 

Guam's Top 10 Korea Arrivals

Rank Month/Year      Guam Arrivals

1. January 2015            38,845

2. July 2015                  35,395

3. December 2014         32,334

4. February 2015           31,677

5. June 2015                 31,161

6. May 2015                  29,904

7. January 2014            28,590

8. April 2015                28,381

9. March 2015              27,434

10. June 2014              27,257

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

Media Contact: JOSH TYQUIENGCO - Public Information Officer