Our View: Flight Services Are Back, Guam Must Act Responsibly To Rebuild Visitor Industry | Opinion


Guam has long thrived on the steady flow of visitors from our Asian source markets. Over the years, our airport has been upgraded and modernized to meet the demands of a growing travel market that connects tens of thousands of passengers who travel through Airport Authority corridors each month. Guam International.

Japan Airlines resumed direct flight services between Tokyo/Narita and Guam earlier this month, bringing its first 78 passengers to the island since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And beyond the upgrades, a lot of thought, planning, and money has gone into transforming Guam into a world-class tourist destination. Through investments in hotel real estate, the creation of luxury brands, new restaurants, boutiques and businesses that welcome visitors, much of Guam’s economic growth and development over the past decades has undoubtedly fueled by tourism.

And that’s why the return of visitors to Guam in early August was an important milestone to recognize in our fight to cross pandemic thresholds and mark the promise of what many industry leaders hope will be brighter days for our businesses. local. The return of direct flights between Korea and Japan – limited as they may begin in these first few months – signals that we may have reached an economic milestone.

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United Airlines passengers arrive at the Guam International Airport Authority on the first Nagoya-Guam flight route on August 1, 2022.

But this time to celebrate this indicative milestone should also be an opportunity for us to expand the scope of what we envision for our visitor industry. The past two years have shown us that the tourism market is just as fierce as our competitors, many of whom have much more to offer vacationers in terms of attractions and affordability.

Prior to 2020, Guam regularly hosted over one million visitors per year. With a new hotel, improvements to existing properties, the creation of more cultural attractions, and the work of the Guam Visitors Bureau and all of our travel, tourism, and business organizations, reigniting our most vital economic engine. is a challenge we can overcome.

Celebrating returning visitors is an important part of our economic return, but moving forward with creativity, vision and a careful growth plan will be key to long-term sustainability. We look forward to supporting our visitor industry leaders and businesses as we report to our readers on the progress made by this vital industry in the days and months ahead.


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