Typhoons are usually bad news for tourism, when they strike or even come near to a tourist destination. Not this time.
Typhoon Wutip largely skirted Guam before turning into a Supertyphoon. But despite the loss of flights arriving due to the storm, the Guam Visitors Bureau reports that arrivals for February reached 137,244 visitors (up 7.9 percent), with the new total now ranked as the second best February in Guam’s tourism history. Typhoon Wutip did cause 25 flight cancellations between Feb. 23-24, that resulted in 4,993 seats lost for the month. This loss was mitigated with the uptick in Japan arrivals remaining strong at 25.2 percent over the same period last year. The Korea market experienced a slight decrease in arrivals (-2.3 percent) which can be attributed to a loss of seat capacity combined with cancellations from Typhoon Wutip.
Guam’s market mix for the month was evenly split at 43 percent, between Japan and Korea while other markets demonstrated growth and continued diversification. Noticeable increases were highlighted with arrivals from the US (up 22.1 percent), Philippines (up 31.8percent), Republic of the Marshall Islands (up 61.6%), Europe (up 8.8 percent), Hong Kong (up 90.5 percent) and the Russia Federation (up 36.4 percent). Newer markets, including Singapore and Malaysia, continue to show strong potential recording growth of (plus 60.6 percent) and (plus 240.0 percent), respectively, for the month. “We are thankful our island got through Typhoon Wutip and finished the month strong to welcome more than 137,000 visitors,” said GVB President and CEO Pilar Laguaña. “It’s also encouraging to see the growth potential in our pioneering markets such as Malaysia and Singapore. We thank our industry for working together and continuing to share our Håfa Adai spirit.”
Calendar Year-to-Date Arrivals are up 8.6 percent, while Fiscal Year-to-Date arrivals show a similar increase by 7.3 percent when compared to the previous year.