Guam tourism arrivals slightly down; preparations begin for peak season

(PNC file photo)

The Guam Visitors Bureau has announced that 123,258 visitors were welcomed to the island last June 2019, a slight decline of 2.3 percent compared to the previous year.

But GVB said arrivals for the month were strong enough to finish as the second-best June in Guam’s tourism history.

The GVB research department partially attributed the decrease in June arrivals to there being no major military exercises scheduled for the month.

Meanwhile, the days leading into the Guam Micronesia Island Fair, Pride Month events and the Electric Island Festival showed increases in arrivals compared to the same time period last year.

According to GVB, the Japan market continues to recover with 41,027 visitors (+14.8%) recorded for the month.

However, Korea arrivals were down, finishing with 62,413 visitors (-8.2%) traveling to the island, mainly due to the loss of Korean Air’s direct flight to Busan and a decrease of seasonal oversupply from Incheon compared to last year.

Other markets that noted increases include Taiwan (+8.1%), the United States (+4.7%) and the Philippines (+17.0%).

Arrivals for fiscal year-to-date are still up 5.4%, while calendar year-to-date numbers have increased by 5.0%.

GVB President and CEO Pilar Laguaña said June is traditionally a slower month in tourism, but said the island had a busy summer of events tied to Guam’s 75th Liberation which have drawn visitors from all parts of the world.

Peak season in August

Looking ahead, Guam is anticipated to welcome 1,117 flights with 232,343 seats available for the month of August, approximately 2,425 more seats than August 2018.

Part of that total includes 119 charter flights from airline partners like Air Busan, China Airlines, T’way, and Jeju all servicing the Japan market.

According to GVB, it has already communicated the need to boost public safety during this time period and will be working with various local and federal agencies, as well as industry partners, to ensure needs are met.

Additionally, GVB has recommended that the Department of Parks and Recreation adjust the hours of operation for public restrooms and ensure restroom facilities are clean and maintained.