The Guam Visitors Bureau is providing support to a local sports organization to help host world-class tennis tournaments on Guam that the bureau hopes will showcase Guam as a safe destination for sports tourism and tourism in general.
According to GVB vice president Gerry Perez, both the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Japan Tennis Association (JTA) have confirmed Japan will not be hosting tennis events prior to the Japan Olympic Games this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of this, the ITF has asked Guam to host two consecutive events with $25,000 prize money per event in order to enhance tournament “attractivity.”
More importantly, Perez said ITF is pushing for the tournaments to accommodate “desperate” tennis players in the region who’d like to maintain their rankings but have no events to compete in.
In addition, the Guam National Tennis Federation (GNTF) was also approached to host Saipan’s junior ITF event along with the Guam Junior’s event.
All in all, four tennis events — two junior events in Guam and Saipan and two pro tournaments — can be held on Guam from May 21 to June 19, 2021.
The ITF has stepped up and offered $41,000 in funding to help the GNTF pull off the four weeks of international events. However, the amount does not cover the expenses to fly in tournament officials and provide them with paid hotel accommodations.
To help out, the GVB board approved up to $30,000 in event sponsorship funding to support the Guam National Tennis Federation’s hosting of four 2021 WTT Pro and Junior Tennis Tournaments scheduled for May 21, 2021, through June 19, 2021.
According to Perez, GVB’s support of these events is a no-brainer because the World Tennis Tour Pro Circuit has been GVB’s signature event since 2010.
Guam is also expected to benefit economically with an estimated 600 people visiting Guam for the tournaments, consuming 2,700 room nights worth $700,000 and $344,250 worth of TAF income based on blended 125.50 ADR.
Marketing-wise, Perez said Guam will also be recognized in Asia and globally for one of the few places hosting professional events at this level.