January 2016 knocked out January 1999’s record of visitor arrivals.
Guam – 2015 was a good year for the island’s tourism industry with more than 1.4 million visitors and it looks like the trend will continue.
January 2016 is now the best January of all time for visitor arrivals. When compared to the previous year, January arrivals rose 9.1 percent with about 129-thousand visitors welcomed to our shores. This broke a 20-year record of 122-thousand visitors recorded in January 1999. According to GVB General Manager Nate Denight, much of the increase can be attributed to the numbers from Guam’s second largest market of Korea.
Denight says, “Yeah we had a great start to the year with a record-breaking January. We’re about 10-thousand over and 9% rise from last year. A lot of that came from Korea thanks to our airlines. Also, Taiwan was big. We started four times a week with China Airlines and that’s really been helping us in Taiwan. Also, Chinese New Year, we had a lot of flights from United. So that’s January but we’re looking for another record breaking year for 2016.”
Denight says getting visitors from Japan is still challenging. He explains that Japan arrivals have slightly decreased because of the weak Yen and loss of flight services. However, he says, GVB is continuing to work with travel agents and tourism industry officials to implement marketing strategies that support growth in the Japan market.
Denight explains, “It’s just a challenging situation but that’s why our diversification efforts are so important pulling from all the different source markets. When one market is down, we’re doing okay in another market. We just got done with a trade mission in Japan. We met with some airlines that are interested in Guam and then later we’ll attend Routes Asia, which is a big conference with the airport to attract even more airlines.
Governor Eddie Calvo congratulated GVB and its tourism partners for achieving yet another milestone. He encourages the island community to keep up the momentum and continue to share our Hafa Adai spirit and Chamorro culture especially as the PATA Annual Summit and Festival of Pacific Arts quickly approaches.