Governor may visit Taiwan this June

TECO Director General Paul Chen (PNC photo by Louella Losinio)

GovGuam plans to send a delegation to visit Taiwan led by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and this may happen in the middle of the year, according to an official from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam.

Plans to send a GovGuam delegation to Taiwan were mentioned in earlier meetings with the Guam Visitors Bureau.

Taiwan was one of Guam’s regular sources of tourists before the pandemic hit and tourism officials expressed the belief that Taiwan will be the tourism market that recovers soonest because of its success in mitigating the COVID-19 virus.

TECO Director General Paul Chen says the Governor’s visit depends on the effectiveness of the island’s vaccination program. Chen says the earliest possible date for the visit is June.

The Governor’s visit would most likely touch upon possible areas of partnership between Taiwan and Guam.

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He added: “The Governor says she is ready and we are working on the details…a package for the Governor’s trip. So when the Governor arrives in Taiwan…she’s going to make a deal like the academic exchange program, medical exchange program or economic exchange program.”

Chen says hopefully the visit of the Guam delegation to Taiwan would get more tourists and investments for Guam.

Taiwan officials said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 30,000 people from Taiwan travel to Guam each year, making Taiwan Guam’s third-largest source of tourists. And in recent years, increasing numbers of people from Guam have traveled to Taiwan for medical treatment.

In fact, a humanitarian and medical mission took off on Monday on a China Airlines charter flight to Taiwan. The passengers included Guam residents who were unable to seek off-island medical treatment because of the COVID crisis and canceled direct flights.

Additionally, the flight included Taiwan citizens who were working in Guam and Saipan and lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and want to return to their homeland in Taiwan.