GVB: ‘Business as usual’ for Guam’s tourism industry

Concerning the dengue fever cases on the island, the Guam Visitors Bureau held a briefing about the virus for members of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association. Topics discussed included an overview of the virus, vector control surveillance, and the status of the local cases.

The Guam Visitors Bureau assures that the island has so far not received any tour cancellations or major statements of concerns from its visitor markets abroad with regard to the dengue situation on island.

During GVB’s industry briefing on dengue held this morning, GVB President and CEO Pilar Laguana assured that everything is “business as usual” for the island’s tourism industry.

“The message is this: Guam remains safe as a destination and we are more than ready to receive visitors,” Laguana said.

Laguana said GVB is working closely with the GovGuam dengue team and she’s confident that they’re doing everything possible to contain the dengue situation.

One concern that Laguana has is that information can be misinterpreted or even twisted to become inaccurate.

She pointed out that tourism is a very fragile industry and Guam has seen in the past how natural and man-made disasters have wreaked havoc with the island’s tourism industry.

For this reason, Laguana asked the stakeholders present during the briefing to stick to the facts and refrain from embellishing or exaggerating the information that they receive on dengue.

She stressed that tourism stakeholders must be very responsible on how they pass information along.

She also called upon the leaders of the industry to keep informed and then pass the accurate information along to their respective workforces.

Laguana said keeping out misinformation is especially important because with social media today, everything moves very quickly.

She also asked the stakeholders to clean their respective properties and make sure mosquitoes won’t have a place to breed.

Stakeholders were also asked to develop internal protocols on how to report cases of dengue and how to respond when a visitor feels sick.