Bank of Guam Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist Joe Bradley fears that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak could be disastrous for Guam’s economy.
During a Special Economic Services meeting Thursday afternoon at the legislature, Bradley said Guam is going to run into “some very serious problems unless the coronavirus issue is resolved very quickly.”
He said there has already been “an enormous 15.2 percent drop in visitor arrivals” for the month of February to date. If that continues for the rest of the rest of the fiscal year, he said, Guam will have more than 100,000 fewer visitors than last year.
“That would be disastrous not only for the government revenues,” said Bradley, “but also for the business community and employment in that industry.”
Tourism accounts for roughly 40% of Guam’s economy. “Take away 15 percent and we lose a lot,” he said and “I don’t see this issue coming to a quick resolution.”
Guam Department of Labor Chief Economist Gary Hiles also spoke at the SES meeting pointing out that Japanese and Korean media report that there have been “virtually no new bookings occurring” and “that does not appear very positive,” said Hiles.