GEDA chairman: ‘Guam is resilient and we will get through this’

ASC Trust President & CEO David John

The chairman of the Guam Economic Development Authority remains optimistic that the island’s economy can recover.

GEDA Chairman David John, who is also the president of ASC Trust, said there has been encouraging news that could help Guam’s economy recover faster.

“Well, there have been some positive developments of late, the greatest of which is encouraging news about free COVID-19 vaccines that were shown to be highly effective. But it seems likely that the vaccines will not be available to the general public until the first quarter of 2021 at the earliest,” John said during Friday’s economic outlook webinar hosted by the Guam Chamber of Commerce.

John believes Guam will be in for a rough ride for at least another quarter or even more before tourists begin to arrive on Island.

“And it will take that long for vaccines to be sufficiently distributed to achieve stabilization and for the population to feel comfortable traveling abroad,” he said.

The good news is that once travel is safe, Guam can recover quickly, with up to 75% to 90% recovery by the end of 2021, John said.

“I base this prediction on pent-up consumer demand and families just saying we need to get away. However, visitors are not coming unless we demonstrate that we are a safe place to visit. This will require us to get our positivity and hospital rates under control,” John said.

He added: “One thing I’ve learned in my 30 years in Guam is that we are some of the most resilient people on earth. We will get through this. We just need to stay together and support each other.”