AUDIT: highest tax collections for TAF due to rising Korean market

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While a recent audit showed the Tumon Attraction Fund’s highest tax collections over a decade, it was not because of Guam’s largest visitor market.

Guam – While Japan remains the island’s major tourist market, the Office of Public Accountability, in its FY 2016 highlights of Tourist Attraction Fund revenues, credited the $3.9 million increase from last year to the recent influx of Korean visitors. The report states that Korea now makes up 34-percent of Guam’s tourist market.

However, the OPA adds that, despite record revenues, $4.5 million in expenditures and debt service transfers resulted in a $3.6 million deficit. TAF’s top expenditures last year included payments to the Guam Visitors Bureau, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and FESTPAC. But even with 6 large capital projects, TAF spent 36-percent less than FY 2015 on the construction of the Guam Museum, the Dededo Flea Market, and other tourism-related projects.

The OPA commended the Department of Administration for having only two audit adjustments, affecting investment income by $30,000.