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Guam tourism industry seeking to tap middle-class Filipino travelers

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam officials are seeking to expand the island's tourism by tapping middle-class Filipino travelers and proposing easier travel for this market segment.

Sen. Will Parkinson expressed support for the Guam Visitors Bureau's efforts to get a Guam-only visa waiver for tourists from the Philippines.

Will Parkinson

With a burgeoning middle class and a fast-growing economy, the Philippines is poised to be a beneficial tourism market for Guam if the tourist visa waiver were in place, Parkinson said

“A Philippine visa waiver would bolster our tourism recovery and encourage trade and investment from the Philippines. This would create more jobs and business opportunities for our local people,” he added.

The first-term senator has introduced a resolution urging Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero to petition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a Filipino visa waiver.

Carl Gutierrez, GVB president, stressed the need for a Filipino tourist visa waiver to further the economic recovery efforts from the pandemic.

Nearly 30 percent of Guam's population are of Filipino descent.

"With many people on Guam having strong ties to the Philippines, the visa waiver would draw tourists looking to visit family on Guam," Parkinson said.

In introducing the resolution, Parkinson noted that Public Law 110-229, also known as the "Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008," authorizes the governor to petition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand the Guam-CNMI visa waiver program to include the Philippines.

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