Gutierrez: Adelup will allow vaccine tourism for non-US citizens

Guam Visitors Bureau president and former governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez. (PNC file photo)

Adelup will be allowing non-US citizens to participate in the Guam Visitors Bureau’s vaccination tourism program, GVB President Carl Gutierrez said.

According to Gutierrez, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has indicated that she will allow non-US citizens to come in provided that Adelup gets enough vaccine supplies.

The governor had said that while she supports GVB’s “Air V&V” project, the people of Guam will still be the priority in using the vaccine supplies.

But Gutierrez sees no problem with the administration getting more supplies, pointing out that even non-US countries like Taiwan are getting 750,000 vaccines from the US.

“The assumption there is that they want us to help the allies and so the governor, I believe in the next few days, should be able to get the word back whether she got approved for her request for more vaccines to take care of the non-US citizens,” Gutierrez said during the GVB meeting Thursday afternoon.

Gutierrez emphasized that things are indeed looking up for GVB’s vaccination tourism program.

“I think, finally, we see a ray of sunshine coming through. The sun is peeking out of those clouds that we’ve had over us for the last year and a half,” Gutierrez said.

He added that the recent CBS report about Guam vaccination tourism resulted in a lot of positive publicity for Guam and GVB is now receiving a lot of inquiries from those interested in getting vaccinated on Guam.

He said Philippine Airlines has been marketing the vaccination tourism concept among U.S. expatriate citizens in the Philippines and Filipinos who have dual citizenship and are also citizens of the US.

“We had a quick call on Tuesday and they’re probably as excited as anybody I’ve seen. They were even willing to fly expats from Bangkok to Guam nonstop,” Gutierrez said.

Nadine Leon Guerrero, GVB’s director of global marketing, said they have already received 400 inquiries about the vaccination tourism program.

“That number can actually be higher because one request could be comprised of a family, or one request could be for a company. So the total numbers could be quite larger,” Leon Guerrero said.

She added that the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association has gathered all the needed safety protocols for the vaccination tourism program and has presented them to the various hotels on island that are now preparing special Air V&V packages.

Leon Guerrero also said that various clinics on island have been receiving direct inquires for vaccination tourism.

“Just to make things easier when our visitors come, we sent over examples of the vaccination records for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan translated to Guam Public Health, showing them what the different forms are, including the hard copies that they would receive from Guam’s different tourism markets,” she said.