A decrease in tourist arrivals in 2018 reduced Tourist Attraction Fund revenues by around $4.7 million or 18.5 percent, according to an independent report from the Office of Public Accountability.
Tourists come to Guam shores for a piece of paradise, fueling a billion dollar industry that provides tens of thousands of jobs. But just like any industry, the main driver of Guam’s economy, outside of federal spending, ebbs and flows with the changing market tides.
TAF revenues went down from $25.6 million in FY 2017 to $20.9 million in FY 2018. The TAF gets its funding from the Hotel Occupancy Tax, which generates money from our island’s visitor industry.
Expenditures in FY 2018 increased by $556,000 or 1.2 percent, going from $47.6 million in FY 2017 to $48.2 million in FY 2018.
The top expenditures are as follows:
- $24.8 million to the Guam Visitors Bureau, a 4 percent increase from $23.9 million;
- $3 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation, a 1 percent decrease from $3.1 million;
- $2.9 million to the Mayors Council of Guam, a 29% decrease from $4.1 million, and;
- $2.8 million to the Guam Police Department, a 478% increase from $480,000.