Guam welcomed 113,804 visitors during May 2018, placing this year's version fifth in visitor arrival numbers during Tourism Month. Events such as the Guam Micronesia Island Fair, Agat Mango Festival, and Cocos Crossing helped attract more visitors to Guam during Tourism Month.
Additionally, arrivals from Korea grew by 17.3 percent over the previous year. Other markets that also showed increases for the month include the U.S. mainland and Hawaii by 9.3 percent, Palau by 30.2, the Philippines by 13.5, Australia by 52.1, and the Russia Federation by 33.7. “We’ve been working hard to bring in more flights and promote our island to the world,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “While it’s important to highlight our successes in tourism, it’s also just as important to address the challenges to further improve Guam as a destination.”
Airline Development Initiatives continue
Out of all of Guam’s source markets, Japan has been the most affected by the loss of seating capacity to the island. The Japan market has experienced a decline of seats due to Delta ending its flight services to Guam, Saipan and Palau and United’s reduction of flights to Guam. To address this decline, the Guam Visitors Bureau has continued recovery efforts of Guam’s air seat capacity through various air service initiatives. GVB and the Guam International Airport Authority have been working together to offer regular air service support and discounted fees under an airport incentive plan. This partnership led to both agencies announcing this week that Jeju Air decided to launch its inaugural flight service between Japan’s Kansai International Airport and Guam that will begin July 21, 2018 and run six times weekly. This will bring 5,700 more seats to Guam per month. Japan Airlines’ second daily flight service from Narita to Guam was also a result of GVB and GIAA’s air service initiatives, with 40,000 more seats available to Guam through the end of October. United additionally has decided to increase flights between Tokyo and Guam to 20 more flights in August. GVB remains in communication with other existing airlines to increase service and potential ones to provide new routes. Summer charters are also anticipated from July to September, which will provide 33,277 more seats to Guam. More than 350 charter flights will be operational through the end of 2018.