GVB: Guam tourism would lose $486 million and 6000 jobs from recreational cannabis

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The Guam Visitors Bureau on Thursday detailed its opposition to adult-use marijuana and released more specific statistics on how recreational cannabis may affect Guam’s tourism industry.

In his presentation before the visitors bureau board, GVB vice president Gerry Perez reported that in Guam’s Japan and Taiwan markets, GVB stands to lose 35 percent of arrivals with the onset of adult-use recreational cannabis.

“In our South Korea market, the results are worse because we stand to lose 40 percent in that market. And in the rest of the markets, we’ll lose 20 percent,” Perez said.

GVB’s more specialized markets also stand to lose.

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“School trips from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, understandably, stand to lose 100 percent because they’re very sensitive to cannabis and they’re very sensitive to where they send their students,” Perez said.

And for senior citizen travel, the so-called “silver” market, GVB forecasts a 50 percent drop in visitor arrivals.

A study recently released by the Cannabis Control Board stated that the adult-use recreational cannabis industry would contribute $11.5 million to the tourism industry from 31,500 new visitors, with 734 new jobs.

But according to GVB’s own estimates, Perez said adult-use recreational cannabis would have a net economic loss of $486.2 million based on actual 2019 data.

In addition, there would be 6,000 jobs lost.

“Now, I would be the first to say that we are not infallible. But even if we’re 50% wrong, we’re still $243 million dollars in the hole. If we’re 50% right, the negative impact can even be much worse,” Perez said.

GVB board member Therese Arriola, who is also a member of the Cannabis Control Board, urged the visitors bureau to share their statistics with the cannabis board.

“We are still in the process of reviewing the rules and regulations for the implementation of recreational cannabis and there is still time for the board to look at this before we submit our final report to the Legislature,” Arriola said.

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