Guam breaks May visitor arrivals record

(PNC file photo)

Visitor arrivals for May 2019 have broken a 22-year-old record to become the top May in Guam’s tourism history.

According to the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) the island welcomed 120,082 visitors, an increase of 5.3 percent, during Tourism Month.

Taking the weighted average of $595.51 from second quarter on-island expenditures, the amount of visitors in May translates to an estimated $71.5 million infused into the local economy, GVB calculated.

The month of May was off to a strong start with the tail end of Golden Week wrapping up on May 6, as well as a visit from the Asuka II cruise ship.

According to GVB, the Golden Week period showed an 18 percent growth over last year’s Golden Week with 68 charter flights bringing in nearly 10,000 more Japanese visitors.

The Asuka II also brought close to 900 passengers to Guam and the days leading up to the Guam Micronesia Island Fair (GMIF) additionally showed increased visitor arrivals.

According to GVB, the Japan market’s recovery continues with 41,688 visitors (+14%) recorded, while South Korea arrivals were at 58,248 (-3.7%).

Other markets that showed significant growth include Taiwan at +41% for the month, the Philippines at +29.3%, Malaysia at +47.4%, Singapore at +25.9%, and Hong Kong at +21.2%. The U.S. also saw slight growth at +2.8%.

“We began a fantastic Tourism Month with a record Golden Week and ended it with celebrating peace and friendship in the Pacific with the 31st Guam Micronesia Island Fair as the kickoff to a busy summer of events tied to the 75th Liberation,” GVB President and CEO Pilar Laguaña said in a news release. “I want to thank our tourism partners and the community for coming together and showcasing our island in the best way possible. Let’s continue to make our Håfa Adai spirit and culture shine for the world to see.”

According to GVB, visitor arrivals for fiscal year 2019 and calendar year to date arrivals are both up by 6.4 percent when compared to the same time period in 2018.