Guam – A formation committee representing the Port Authority of Guam, the Guam Visitors Bureau, and the Micronesia chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association announced that they have partnered to establish the Micronesian Cruise Association (MCA). The non-profit, non-stock membership organization was formed to develop a sustainable emerging visitor market segment and cultivate incremental economic activity servicing cruise ships throughout the Micronesian region.
Cruise ship visits to Guam and other ports in Micronesia have increased over the last few years. Guam welcomed 8,000 passengers from six cruise ships in 2010 including the Asuka II, Sun Princess, Sun Venus, Nippon Maru, Asuka I, and the renowned Queen Mary II. The on-island spend from passengers taking shore excursions is estimated at approximately $872,000 total or $109 each.
Monte Mesa, general manager for Guam Premium Outlets, has been selected to lead the association as its interim president and director.
“The Micronesian Cruise Association will provide its members a forum for discussion on tourism development, port infrastructure, tour operations, safety, security, immigration, legislation, environmental protection, and other cruise industry issues,” Mesa said.
Other board members and officers include Gerald S.A. Perez, Guam Visitors Bureau general manager, interim Vice President and director; and Ms. Annmarie Muña, president of AM Insurance, interim secretary/treasurer and director. Other members of the board include Darin De Leon, managing director of Palau Visitors Authority; Grant Ismael, general manager of Kosrae Visitors Bureau and PATA Micronesia Chapter president; Don Evans, general manager of Yap Visitors Authority; and Perry J.P. Tenorio, managing director of Marianas Visitors Authority.
As of January 2011, there are 13 members of the MCA including PATA Micronesia, Yap Visitors Bureau, Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Micronesian Divers Association, Guam Publications Inc., Palau Visitors Bureau, Marshall Islands Visitors Bureau, Advance Management Inc., and the Guam Visitors Bureau.
Organizations or individuals interested in learning more about the MCA may contact the Guam Visitors Bureau at 646-5278.