Guam – As the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) celebrates its 50th anniversary, it also is celebrating the news that preliminary visitor arrivals for the month of March broke all records in the history of tourism.
Preliminary data shows 136,278 visitors came to Guam in March 2013, breaking August 1995’s previous 18 year record of 135,710 visitors. GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan says they are pleased that March has become the best month in the history of tourism arrivals and he attributes the growth in numbers to the entire tourism industry working together to attract more visitors to Guam.
“I think the industry as a whole has really pulled together to put forth a very worthy product, an attractive product highlighting our culture,” said Pangelinan. “These are just a lot of the things that are attracting and grows the visitors. We’re really, really pleased with the results.”
According to the data, total fiscal year arrivals are up by 9%. Japan arrivals have risen 5.6%, while Korea arrivals also grew by 44.6%. Arrivals for china are up 7.7% and Russian visitor numbers have increased by 317.7%.
Pangelinan mentions GVB is still on a mission to add more hotel rooms to address the continued growth of arrivals. He also says Japan is still the island’s top market, but feels the tourism industry has worked hard to also diversify other visitor markets.
“You know Josh, that’s always going to be our number one market,” said Pangelinan. “We’re always going to care about the Japanese visitor, but I think we’re doing our job really to diversify and increase our marketing efforts to some of the other markets such as Korea, Taiwan and Russia.”
Pangelinan says GVB has multiple events to keep their 50th anniversary momentum going. They just completed the Guam International Marathon and he thanks the volunteers for helping to take care of the 2,100 runners that participated. He also says they have big things in store for May, especially since it is also Tourism Month.
“We’re planning a large barbeque festival down at pleasure island,” said Pangelinan. “It’s going to be the first time we’re going to do something in this regard. We want to kind of get it under our belts and fine tune the actual event before pitching it on a global scale next year possibly to our tour operators. But we’re really excited about that.”
GVB is also preparing for its annual Micronesia Island Fair, which was moved to May because of previous issues with logistics and the weather.
Pangelinan adds another highlight for Tourism Month is the upcoming China Outbound Travel Market Symposium on May 22. He says experts will be talking about the China Visa Waiver Program and how Guam can get to know the Chinese traveler.
“We’ll get into some of the specifics with regard to the China traveler, what they look out for, some of the things they enjoy doing and what we can expect of them from a business perspective,” said Pangelinan.
See the list of the Top 15 arrival months below:
READ the release from the Governor’s Office below:
“This is a monumental time for tourism. We are breaking records in our number one economic industry and we are going to continue the momentum. Thank you to all the men and women working in our restaurants, tour companies, and hotels who are excelling and showing our visitors the true Guamanian spirit.”
– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
MARCH 2013 BEST MONTH IN HISTORY FOR TOURISM ARRIVALS
The Guam Visitors Bureau’s Research Department confirmed that preliminary arrivals to Guam for the month of March broke all records in the last 50 years of tourism. Arrivals totaled 136,278 breaking August 1995’s previous record of 135,710. A list of the top 15 months in tourism history is attached.
FISCAL YEAR TO DATE (October 2012 – March 2013)
Total Fiscal Year to Date Arrivals (October 2012 to March 2013) are up by 9.0%. Japan Arrivals are up 5.6% and Korea by 44.6%. Arrivals from the People’s Republic of China are up 7.7%, and the Russian Federation by 317.7%.
CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE (January 2013 – March 2013)
Total Calendar Year to Date Arrivals are up by 5.7%. Japan Arrivals are up 1.9% and Korea up by 42.4%. Arrivals from the People’s Republic of China are down 15.6% and the Russian Federation up by 265.4%.
GVB to Continue Promoting Chamorro Culture
“This is testament to the work we are doing to attain maximum benefits of the industry for our people. Our tourism story is only getting better and we will continue to expand our efforts to promote what makes our island unique, our Chamorro Culture.”
– GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan