Guam – A majority of residents think that tourism is good for Guam but a growing number of people from the Southern end of Guam think that we have too many tourists. While the overall perception of tourism on Guam is good there are some negative impacts of tourism that residents are concerned about.
According to a GVB Survey of Tourism Attitudes of Residents or STAR survey a majority of people surveyed or 54% believe that visitors usually treat tourism industry workers like servants. That is they treat them poorly or rudely and in a demeaning manner. This is a significant increase from just 21% who felt this way in 2010.
There is also a growing number of people particularly Chamorros and Southern residents who feel that there are too many visitors. 18% of people surveyed feel there are too many visitors. This is more than double the 7% who felt this way in 2010. 47% feel there is just the right amount and a decreasing number of 34% of people feel there are not enough visitors compared to 65% who felt this way in 2010.
A growing number of people think that “most tourism jobs don’t offer much chance for advancement.” In 2006 and 2010 49% of people surveyed felt this way but in 2017 that 64% felt this way. 68% agree that local land should not be sold to foreign investors which is an increase from 53% in 2010.
More residents feel that Guam has too much crime. In 2010 only 32% believed this but in 2017 the number has returned to the 2006 figure of 59%. 68% believe that “visitor facilities charge too much for local participation.”
Although there are some negative feelings about tourism and its impacts overall the perception of social cultural and environmental impacts of tourism are positive. 60% believe that “tourism helps sustain Guam’s natural resources, parks and cultural sites.” 65% believe that tourism enhances residents’ quality of life. 66% believe that GovGuam is reinvesting tourism dollars into improving the quality of life for Guam residents. 74% believe that tourism creates shopping restaurants and entertainment opportunities for residents. 62% agreed that tourism provides opportunities for residents to be involved. 68% agreed that tourism sponsors festivals activities and sports events. 64% feel that tourism encourages visitors to be respectful of Guam’s culture. 61% feel that tourism encourages visitors to be respectful of Guam’s environment. A growing number or 79% feel welcome when going to a visitor facility. 73% agree that “tourism helps to preserve the Chamorro culture” which is up from 62% in 2010 and 68% in 2006.
People were also asked what should be promoted to visitors the most and the top three responses were traditions history and food.
The survey interviewed more than 1,257 local residents including 651 Chamorros. The survey was conducted via telephone through a random sampling over the course of four weeks in April and May 2017.