Guam Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio, visiting media last week on Guam and Nathan Denight of the Guam Visitors Bureau
Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and his number two man have had a lot of experience the last two weeks in reassuring the international media and tourist visitors to the island that it is safe and well protected despite noisy threats and saber-rattling by the Korean leader, who now has in hand a plan for a missile strike bracketing Guam.
Now the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, a joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, is the latest issue to fire up Kim Jong-un who is threatening a 'merciless strike' in response. Of course in the region, this is pretty familiar rhetoric from the North Korean leader, though he now has more capable weaponry to back up his threat.
Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio and the Guam Visitors Bureau met with media in Tokyo, Japan to reassure the Japanese people and all potential travelers that Guam continues to remain safe and protected.
“I know many of you have questions about the threat from North Korea,” said Tenorio. “Let me reassure you that first of all, the entire time that the media has been talking about this issue — our island has been safe. We remain in a state of normalcy, our beaches are filled with tourists, and it continues to be business as usual on Guam.”
GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight echoed the Tenorio's statement, telling Japanese media at the Japan National Press Club that visitors interviewed by global media stated they were not worried and understood there was no difference in their level of safety.
Japan is important to Guam and has been the island’s number one visitor market. Guam is also celebrating 50 years since the first flight from Japan arrived on Guam this year.
Additionally, August is one of the busiest months for Guam in visitor arrivals. GVB’s Research Department confirmed August 2016 was the best month in Guam’s tourism industry with 144,758 visitors welcomed to Guam. As of August 15, arrivals for the month of August are up three percent from last year.
“Tourism is a fragile industry. Guam’s brand image is built as a very safe and family friendly destination,” said Denight. “That’s why we’re here. We want to reassure people there has been no change in Guam. Although the global spotlight has been on our island in recent days, Guam remains the same family-friendly and safe destination it has always been.”
Pyongyang is not helping this effort, declaring that its army can target the United States anytime, and that neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can "dodge the merciless strike."
The messages in Rodong Sinmun, the official government newspaper, came a day before the start of the Ulchi Freedom exercises.