GVB Symposium Tuesday Aims to Get Local Businesses Ready for Chinese Visitors

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Guam – In an effort to help local businesses respond to rising interest from Chinese travelers in island resorts locations like Guam, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) have partnered for the China Outbound Travel Market Symposium on Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.
The symposium comes in preparation for the increase in Chinese outbound travel. According to data compiled by the Chinese government backed Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting Co. Ltd., Chinese outbound departures grew to 47.66 million in 2009.

By 2010, researchers expect that number to grow to 83 million.

“The number of Chinese visitors to Guam has increased dramatically this year,” said GVB General Manager Gerald S.A. Perez. “Even without a visa waiver for China, we’re seeing more than 60 percent increase over the number of visitors from last year. If the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approves our request for a visa waiver, which we hope they’ll decide by November, that number will jump even more in the years to come. We want to make sure our local businesses are not only equipped logistically to handle that market, but know the expectations of Chinese travelers who visit Guam.”

As of Sept. 8, 2010, preliminary GVB data shows 3,387 Chinese travelers visited Guam since January.  With an average daily spend of $600 to $800 per visitor, the incentive for local businesses – from restaurants and hotels to retail shops, scenic spots, and optional tours – to cater to the growing market is apparent.

The symposium will feature experts from the Chinese government, the tourism industry, PATA, and GVB discussing the Chinese visitor profile, how to market businesses to Chinese travel agents, and the upcoming U.S. Department of Homeland Security final ruling on the Guam-CNMI visa waiver program for China.

Fee for the symposium is $30 for the general public, $15 for high school and college students with a valid student I.D. Fee includes light breakfast fare, beverages, and lunch.

Venue sponsor for the event is Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. Contributing sponsors include DFS Galleria Guam, Pacific Daily News, Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, Guam Plaza Hotel, Pacific Islands Club, Outrigger Guam Resort, Tiffany & Co., Kloppenburg Enterprises, Century Travel, and Glimpses of Guam.