Perez: Pandemic causing $34M in lost retail sales every week

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing millions of dollars of losses every week for island retailers as well as for the Government of Guam.

Gerry Perez, the newly appointed vice president of the Guam Visitors Bureau, delivered the bad news to members of the Rotary Club of Guam Thursday afternoon.

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“Before you guys come back again to meet next week,” he said, “this island will have lost over $34 million in retail sales, tourism-related sales.”

That boils down to $200,000 an hour which “translates into 26 percent unemployment or more,” he said. “That’s why people are hurting.”

Beyond the loss to island retailers, GovGuam loses between $175 to $200 for every tourist that does not come to Guam.

In the weeks and months ahead, as the recovery begins to unfold, “we need to make sure that the island is recognized as a safe destination,” said Perez,” and everyone in this room has that obligation.”