By Alex J. Rhowuniong
GVB 8th Annual Shop Guam e-Festival kicks off Sunday
GVB President Pilar Laguana, center, is joined by social media influencers during the launch of 8th Annual Shop e-Festival on Nov. 7, 2019
The Guam Visitors Bureau’s 8th Annual Shop e-Festival kicked off on Sunday, with 142 participating merchants.
GVB has brought in influencers with thousands of followers to help boost its ongoing marketing efforts across the Asian countries and beyond.
Poyan Fung, a former kindergarten teacher from Hong Kong, is one of seven social media influencers featured during a Nov. 7 press conference announcing the launch of Shop Guam e-Festival 2019 International Ambassadors.
While they continue to focus on the global market though, GVB has also continued to focus on outside-the-Tumon-box thinking as well as the local market on Guam.
“One of the new focus this year,” said Nadine Leon Guerrero, director of Global Marketing, “is to bring Shop Guam e-Festival into the 19 districts, or the 24 villages, across Guam. We are actively recruiting small village partners and vendors and entrepreneurs to be part of the festival this year. This is part of GVB’s on-going efforts to extend tourism outside of Tumon, and create tourism impacts for our entire island.”
Jason Lin, GVB social media strategist, added: “So far this year, GVB has recruited 142 merchants with over 208 offers. There will be a lot more in the coming weeks. Over the course of the history of the Shop Guam e-Festival, GVB has partnered with 962 local merchants on the campaign.
“Since 2012, with Shop Guam e-Festival, we have collectively, for the last seven years, brought in more than 2.2 million visitors to experience the campaign. More than 100 million worth of media value has been generated in association with Shop Guam through international promotion.
“We began with a paper coupon campaign, but we’ve simply evolved into a multi-marketing campaign. We have collectively bought from Shop Guam ad, generating just a little under $200,000 a major milestone.”
Leon Guerrero also said GVB continues to invite local talents or travelers.
“We are organizing global experiences,” said Leon Guerrero. “We welcome all inspiring practitioners and community event organizers to be part of this Shop Guam e-Festival this year.”
Pilar Laguana, GVB president and chief executive officer, noted the project’s evolution. “It doesn’t seem like long ago, when we have the first Shop Guam Festival. We were actually dealing with paper coupons,” she said. “But today, it has turned into a very dynamic, really sophisticated technology marketing campaign. I’m extremely proud of the team that has put this together and for the past eight years, have cultivated it to what it is today.”
Lin also said bringing in global visitors and influencers have become a tradition for GVB every year as well. So, this year, a group of influential social media ambassadors sat with Fung in the GVB conference room, including: So Hee Nam from South Korea, Ayaka Kawaguchi and Karen Okajima both from Japan, Peter Su from Taiwan, Ruo Guan Nian Hua and An Lan both from China.
Fung, who has already posted on her social media channels, left behind last Sunday many business shops closing down in Hong Kong, due to the unrest there, to come to Guam for the first time and take part in the GVB celebration.
“I like (Guam) because I like nature,” Fung said. “I love the outdoors: the sun, the beach, the ocean. I love diving. I enjoyed a little diving yesterday, but I cannot have enough. The ocean and beaches very beautiful.”
Fung, is an avid adventure diver, always looking for good run-ins with sharks, rays and other interesting underwater creatures.
She also said she is not going to have time before she leaves this weekend to go out into Guam waters one more time for a good dive. But even days before she goes back home, she was already planning her next trip back to Guam.
When she comes back, she promised she’ll make certain she has all the diving she can handle. And, of course, the food as well.
Already she said she has continued posting on her social media channels about Guam foods, recreational activities and diving.
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