Taiwan charter flights to Guam more than triple

The initial batch of Taiwanese tourists were greeted with live CHamoru music by Ruby Santos and Jesse Bais. (GVB photo)

From an original three charter flights in July, the number of charter flights from Taiwan to Guam has grown to 11 and extended up to August.

According to the Guam Visitors Bureau, in addition to the initial charter flight last July 6, the upcoming charter flights from Taiwan to Guam are scheduled for July 10, 14, 18, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, and Aug. 2, 8, and 12.

GVB Vice President Gerry Perez said the charter flights will have seat capacities of 155 to 177 each.

The first batch of 161 Taiwan tourists who arrived last July 6 are staying at Tsubaki Tower, Dusit Thani Guam, Nikko Hotel Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, and Pacific Island Club.

The tourists’ vaccinations have already begun, with most of them choosing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. According to GVB’s breakdown, 53 got the Pfizer vaccine, 51 had Moderna, and 49 got Johnson & Johnson.

Perez said the initial charter flight was very well received in Taiwan, with Taiwan media coverage mentioning the flight 119 times in just 2 days (July 6 and July 7).

According to the travel agencies, the Guam Air V&V packages sold well with 5-day packages selling better than the 7 to 22-day package.

One probable reason for this is that the CDC is allowing people to arrange 2nd doses in Taiwan after getting the 1st dose on Guam.

The travel agencies also reported that passengers had positive feedback, with most of them saying it’s worth getting vaccinated on Guam even though they have to go through a 14-day quarantine when they go back to Taiwan.

GVB President Carl Gutierrez said that since the first charter flight arrived, he has been monitoring tourist activity in Tumon and he has seen tourists walking up and down from Tumon to Kmart.

Unfortunately, Gutierrez said he also saw some tourists peering through the doors of closed restaurants and retail outlets.

Moreover, Gutierrez said he has been hearing some feedback from the tourists saying that there’s not much to do on Guam aside from the beach and the hotels because many establishments are still closed.

Gutierrez said with more charter flights from Taiwan coming in and with tourism in general starting to recover, the island’s tourism-related businesses will have to start reopening to provide much-needed services to the island’s visitors.