GHRA says North Korean threats have hurt hotel industry

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“Some hotels are looking between it’s an impact of a million or two million dollars negatively to their monthly or two-month forecast,” said GHRA President Mary Rhodes.

Guam – The recent threats from North Korea have resulted in some cancellations of visits to Guam. In fact, Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association President Mary Rhodes says the Hotel and Restaurant industry has definitely felt the effects. This is now being exacerbated by Delta’s decision to cease operations here in January.

“We actually have seen some cancellations especially with groups, group travel and especially with the children. A lot of students come during the summertime and so when that happened it made a little bit of an impact,” said Rhodes. The GHRA President says that some hotels were more affected by North Korea’s threats than others particularly in the Japanese market. “Some hotels are looking between it’s an impact of a million or two million dollars negatively to their monthly or two-month forecast,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes says GovGuam and GVB did a good job of getting the message out that Guam is a safe destination but the timing of the North Korean threats still affected tourism during the peak season.

In addition to this, Rhodes says the decision by Hong Kong Express to delay it’s Japan flights to Guam and Delta Airlines to cease its Japan-Guam route will greatly impact Guam’s tourism industry. “I think Delta leaving the Japan market when already we’ve been struggling I think is an indicator for us that everybody needs to look at is how do you project for next year. I think we’re losing a large carrier and a legacy carrier,” said Rhodes adding, “and with Hong Kong Express that’s really unfortunate because they were supposed to help fill a gap.”

Rhodes says she hopes we won’t see any real increases in prices. “We have to remain competitive and that’s what all the airlines need to remember is that they need to remain competitive not just internationally within Southeast Asia but also for Guam. Because we can’t start increasing pricing just because Delta has left the market and now they have a hold of the market we need to make it competitive so everybody wins,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes also believes that GVB should get more money than it got last fiscal year. “It doesn’t help when the legislature does a rollover budget too when we’ve seen increases in the hotel occupancy tax which should go to funding our marketing efforts out of GVB. So, I think that’s why the GM recently talked about is how can we get a rollover budget when we’ve actually increased both GRT and Hotel Occupancy Taxes over the years,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes says that although visitor arrivals have been increasing over the years the hotel occupancy rates have stayed the same. This is due to many Korean travelers opting to stay in air BNB’s.