Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed an executive order establishing a working group to create strategy for a small-ship cruise industry for Guam.
Under Executive Order 2019-17, the working group shall collaborate with the Micronesian Cruise Association to work with participating governments and islands within Micronesia to ensure alignment and support with a small-ship cruise line industry servicing Guam.
The task force has also been tasked with identifying all possible risks and opportunities involved with this venture and developing a request for proposal or terms of reference outlining the expectations from a viable small-ship cruise line industry.
The global cruise industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism segments with an annual passenger growth rate of nearly 7 percent. The industry served almost 18 million passengers in 2009, increasing to over 23 million by 2015, and is projected to continue to grow throughout 2019 with an estimated 30 million travelers.
The Guam Visitors Bureau and the Micronesia Cruise Association earlier commissioned a study with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) regarding Guam’s potential with the cruise industry.
The PATA study, entitled “Micronesia Cruise Development: The Business Case for a Homeported Small-Ship Cruise Line,” was received on June 6, 2016, with positive feedback for Guam’s future with the cruise industry.
The Port Authority of Guam has already completed the architectural and engineering designs and are in the final stages of completing the Environmental Assessment of the Hotel Wharf Rehabilitation and Access Roadway Repair Project paving the way for MARAD’s $10 million obligation to start the construction IFB process which, upon the project’s completion, can accommodate berthing space for passenger cruise ships.
According to the executive order, Guam’s tourism industry can benefit greatly from a cruise ship industry and the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures had previously recommended that Micronesian governments look into establishing a regional cruise industry.