GVB seeking to expand flight service between Guam and South Korea
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam and South Korea are exploring new opportunities to add new air routes between the two destinations, according to the Guam Visitors Bureau.
South Korea has taken Japan’s previous position as Guam’s top source market.
Last year, GVB recorded around 130,000 visitors to Guam driven primarily by the Korean market, which accounted for 50 percent of the arrival figure. In August 8, 2022, GVB reported that 71,660 Korean visitors came to Guam, capturing 45 percent of the total market share
Earlier this week, Lee Seo Young, South Korea’s consul general in Honolulu, and Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB president and CEO, discussed innovative marketing strategies and the potential for expanding air traffic between the two routes.
There are currently five Korean carriers that service the Guam route: Air Busan, Jeju Air, Korean Air, T'Way Air and Jin Air.
Gutierrez emphasized the need for new air routes that connect South Korea to Guam and other Micronesia islands, such as Palau and Saipan, and asked for the consul general’s support.
“I am very appreciative to all Korean visitors who have led the way in Guam’s tourism recovery since Covid-19. So far this fiscal year, they make up about 61% of the tourists to Guam,” Gutierrez said. “With the support of Consul General Lee in Honolulu and Head of Mission Kim on Guam, we can continue boosting Korean arrivals and eventually provide new air routes for travelers in our region.”
Lee stressed the importance of maintaining a close partnership with Guam, especially for the continued safety and security of Korean visitors.
Lee recognized the excellent cooperation between Gutierrez and Head of Mission Kim during Typhoon Mawar, demonstrated by their swift action to provide free transportation, hotel, and food assistance to tourists in the critical days following the storm.
Gutierrez explained the latest GVB programs to highlight Guam’s people, natural beauty, and culture, and praised Kim for immersing himself in the island’s culture since he took his post on Guam in 2021.
During the first week of August, GVB completed its Korea roadshow to Busan, Daegu, and Gwangju alongside 12 local tourism partners representing various Guam hotels and optional tours.
With a goal to revitalize Korean arrivals and further develop routes to secondary cities, the Guam delegation met with over 300 travel agents and airline partners to provide a Guam update, re-establish relationships, and make new connections after a four-year hiatus since the last GVB Roadshow in 2019.