Contrary to what many might expect, tourists continue pouring into Guam despite the escalating threats of a missile attack from North Korea, a seeming indication of how most people perceive Pyongyang’s sabre-rattling.
Who needs a marketing strategist when there are two hotheads drawing attention to a tiny island?
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to nuke Guam, in response to President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning.
“Not scared,” said Yeok Suk Geem, who came to Guam Friday with her two friends from Seoul on Friday. “I don’t think (the attack) will happen.”
Most hotels in Tumon are almost fully booked. It will go up to 110 percent occupancy, President Donald Trump told Gov. Eddie Calvo.
“At this point, there are thousands of tourists coming in on a daily basis,” Calvo said in a press brief Friday. “At given day we have 10,000 to 15000 tourists coming from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and other areas. It is our belief that they should enjoy themselves here. It is just as safe as Tokyo or Taipei.”
Korean tourists arrive on Guam this weekend
Governor Calvo said the Guam homeland security office has established a communication line with Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association and all major private sector entities. “There is already established system in place for communicating any change the threat levels.”
Joshua Tyquiengco, marketing director of the Guam Visitors Bureau, said there were some booking cancellations but not of enough significance to impact the industry.
The international attention that Guam has been drawing in the past couple of days as a consequence of war of words between the U.S. and North Korea stirs curiosity in this tiny island in the Pacific, which has been trending on search engines and social media.
Tyquiengco said circumstances may be unfortunate but Guam should take this opportunity “to educate the world about who we are—and we are not just a military base.”
“It is business as usual on Guam and the Guam Chamber of Commerce remains steadfast in its conviction that Guam is, and will continue to be, economically sound and is a safe and protected area to visit and do business,” the chamber said.
“Our government works around the clock with local and federal offices of Homeland Security, and our U.S. military to insure the safety of our island, our citizens and visitors at all times."
The chamber encouraged its members to stay diligent and make necessary precautions as any business would to protect the health and safety of its employees and patrons.