GVB Visitor Center renamed in honor of Mr. Tourism Norbert “Bert” Unpignco


Guam – The Guam Visitors Bureau is donning a new name in honor of the late “Mr. Guam Tourism,” Bert Unpingco.

Since the 1970’s Norbert Reyes Unpingco also known as Bert and Mr. Tourism, dedicated his life to share the island spirit with all who visited promoting the island’s beauty and culture. A pioneer in the local tourism industry, he was the first general manager for the Guam Visitor’s Bureau (GVB).

“When Governor Carlos Camacho asked my dad to come to Guam, he is the one who opened Guam Visitor’s Bureau, and as a young teenager I would go and follow him and pass out brochures to everybody and anybody. And everybody that was at the airport that was coming off the plane we would give shell necklaces to leis and it didn’t matter who they were,” fondly recalled his daughter, Gloria Unpingco Santiago.

Unpingco not only promoted the tourism from our sandy shores, he also carried the Hafa Adai spirit while living in the US mainland receiving the “Discover America Award.” Unpingco began his making his mark on the island’s tourism while living in Alabama. And when he answered the call from Governor Camacho, he helped Guam grow into a world-class destination.

“One of the most memorable things my dad did for Guam was the W.A.V.E. program. Welcome all visitor’s enthusiastically is what it means. So he has done a lot here and if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have all the hotels, we wouldn’t have all the tourists coming. They are the ones that make Guam happen,” shared Santiago.

Mr. Tourism passed away in May of 2017, at the age of 83.  His legacy will now live on and his name will forever be memorialized for his contributions to the island. As earlier this week GVB’s Visitor Center was renamed to the Norbert “Bert” Unpingco Visitor Center in a special ceremony commemorating his dedication as a pioneer in the tourism industry.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.