Tokyo, Japan – The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) was honored Friday in Tokyo at the opening ceremonies for the 2013 Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Tabihaku Travel Showcase.
The Guam Delegation led by Governor Eddie Baza Calvo took center stage in front of over 800 delegations from around the world to receive the Tourism Award for a National Tourism Organization (NTO), the highest award given to an NTO by JATA.
[Guam Dignitaries visiting the Guam booth at the 2013 JATA Tabihaku Travel Showcase.]
“Fifty years ago, visionary Guamanians had a dream of sharing our Pacific paradise with the world. Today, I look back at how far our island has come. We are having the best years for tourism in Guam’s history,” Governor Calvo said. “Our island welcomed 1.3 million visitors last year for the first time in over 15 years. So many people inside and outside the government made this happen, and their efforts are not going unnoticed. The Japan Association of Travel Agents has awarded Guam their highest honor today. It’s been a humbling experience. I accepted this award on behalf of all Guamanians—especially the hardworking people at GVB and in our tourism industry. We are celebrating our golden anniversary of tourism this year, and that’s exactly how I feel right now: golden.”
The Tourism Award is given to an NTO for their aggressive and effective promotion in Japan over the last three years. The JATA nominated GVB, and by popular vote by Japan’s Travel Industry that includes airlines, travel agents and transportation companies, was chosen to receive the honor. Additionally, GVB was recognized for their efforts and contribution to expand and develop the overseas travel market.
[Governor Eddie Baza Calvo receives the Tourism Award from JATA Vice Chairman, Mr. Yoshikawa Katsuhisa as GVB Chairman Mark Baldyga and GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan look on.]
“We are definitely excited about receiving this award,” GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan said. “The hard work and dedication of many people, especially the staff and management of GVB and GVB Japan, is what has gotten us this recognition. We are truly humbled and thankful all for your hard work in making our island the world-class destination of choice. As we celebrate 50 years of tourism on Guam, we remember those first pioneers who envisioned what our island as a destination could become. Here is to the next 50 years of our island’s tourism story.”
The Guam delegation will be in Japan over the weekend and will have the opportunity to reach the over 120,000 travel agents, media and potential visitors with the latest information about Guam and what our island has to offer.
[GVB Marketing Officer I Elaine Pangelinan (Center) is joined by GVB Japan Sales & Marketing Representative Masano Takeuchi during the Business Meetings at the 2013 JATA Tabihaku Travel Showcase.]