The Guam Visitors Bureau projects 1.61 million visitor arrivals for fiscal 2019 and expects the South Korea market to continue to eclipse the formerly highest-performing Japan market.
GVB’s projections that visitor arrivals would exceed the 1.55 million total last year were shared at the bureau’s general membership meeting and election for a new set of board members.
GVB is anticipating approximately 600,000 arrivals from Japan and 770,000 from Korea, according to a presentation by GVB President Nathan Denight.
“What we really wanted at the bureau is to have a strong Korea, a strong Japan. When those two are firing all cylinders, you’ll see the success that we are having right now,” he said.
“This December is a testament to the strength of the industry,” Denight added.
Arrivals from Japan reached 62,037 in December 2018, a 27 percent increase from 48,785 Japanese tourists during the same month the year before. These monthly figures are nearly half of what GVB used to see out of Japan.
Korea arrivals decreased by 8.9 percent in December, with 64,127 tourists.
Overall in 2018, Guam’s tourist arrivals from Japan decreased by 9.2 percent, to 563,220.
Korea arrivals increased 9 percent to 746,987, but have slowed compared to double-digit growth the last two years.
Key figure bumped off board
The GVB membership on Tuesday elected four new and returning members to its Board of Directors.
Milton Morinaga, the incumbent GVB board chairman and managing director for PHR Ken Micronesia Inc. â€“ a major investor with such hotel brands as Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Guam, Pacific Islands Club Guam and Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort â€“ didn’t get re-elected.
The new board members include former first lady Joann Camacho, who previously served as GVB general manager.
Three incumbent directors filled the other slots â€“ Kloppenburg Enterprises Inc. Vice President for Business Development Brad Kloppenburg, Holiday Tours Micronesia President Satoru Murata and Sam Shinohara, United Airlines managing director of operations for Asia/Pacific.
Current board members William Nault and Monte Mesa withdrew their names from the slate of candidates.
At the start of the meeting, Morinaga said, “It is our partnership that continues to make Guam a better place to live, work and visit.” He thanked the directors who served with him for the past two years.
The GVB board comprises 13 total members, including one alternate. Four members are elected by GVB’s general membership to serve a two-year term.
The governor of Guam appoints five members, including a Mayors’ Council of Guam representative. The speaker of the Legislature also appoints three members, including an alternate. One member is additionally selected by at least eight board members to serve a two-year term.
On strengthening and diversifying the tourism market, Camacho said, “It is important that we continue the momentum of what we are doing right now.”
“I want to work to improve the visitor experience through our destination projects here, making sure our island is presentable, our service levels are up to par,” she said.
She wants the visitors to experience the hospitality of the CHamoru people and of Guam.
“Really, it is keeping our No. 1 industry alive. Tourism is the bread and butter of Guam. Everyone in the industry needs to work together to support tourism, our visitors.”
Denight provided an end-of-the-year report highlighting the accomplishments of the bureau.
This week, the bureau announced Guam welcomed 1.55 million visitors in 2018, calling it “the best calendar year in the island’s history.”
According to Denight, fiscal year 2019’s first-quarter numbers for Japan arrivals showed a 26 percent increase compared to last year’s figures. Around 127,620 visitors from Japan arrived on Guam during the first quarter of fiscal 2018. In comparison, fiscal 2019 numbers showed 160,783.
During the same period, the Korea market was down by 3.1 percent while Taiwan continues to be stable, according to Denight.
GVB data showed a total of 400,610 visitor arrivals for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
Source: Google News : https://www.postguam.com/news/local/gvb-projects-m-visitors-in/article_607c4e62-1315-11e9-9c65-d70b7f9438f7.html