Although Guam is off to a rough start with fiscal year 2018 with 7,556 cancellations, the Governor’s Office and the Guam Visitor’s Bureau is announcing that fiscal year 2017 is the best fiscal year in Guam’s tourism history.
Guam – According to a joint release, 1.5 million tourists visited the island in fiscal year 2017 which runs from Oct. 2016 to Sept. 2017. This represents a 3.2% increase over fiscal year 2016. The island ended the fiscal year strong with 117,152 visitors in September making it the 3rd best September in Guam’s tourism history. The Governor and Lt. Governor credited these numbers to the hard work planning and cooperation between GVB and industry partners.
However, they also noted that Guam’s tourism industry will have a lot of challenges in fiscal year 2018. Cancellations are now at 7,556 which amounts to an estimated $9.5 million loss in revenue for the island. The cancellations come from school groups, package tours and MICE or meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition groups.
The Governor has created a task force to address these cancellations and find solutions to improve Guam’s tourism numbers amidst threats from North Korea. The task force is made up of officials from GVB, GIAA, and GEDA. One of the plans to address the Japanese market which was shrinking prior to the North Korean threats is to hold a mega familiarization tour sometime between November and December to show travel agents and international media how safe Guam really is.
Seating capacity is a big issue with the announcement by United Airlines to suspend some flights from Japan to Guam and the announcement by Delta Airlines to suspend all flights to Guam. In 2012 there were $1.4 million seats available between Guam and Japan but that number shrunk to less than 900 thousand in 2017. With the Delta pullout and United scale back there will be even less seats in 2018.
In addition, HK Express suspended its flights out of Honk Kong in June, Eva air suspended its twice-weekly flights from Taiwan and United announced it would suspend daytime flights from Manila in January.
“It isn’t going to be easy, but by working together we can recover,” Governor Calvo stated.