2 Nov 2010

Clinton support for tourist visa waivers huge for Guam tourism

10:51 am on 2 November 2010

Guam authorities say they believe they have a new advocate in the American Secretary of State in boosting the territory's sagging tourism industry.

Hillary Clinton spent a few hours with the military and local officials, including Governor Felix Camacho, during a stopover on her two-week Asia-Pacific tour.

A spokesman for the Governor, Shawn Gumataotao, says Mrs Clinton has committed her support to extending visa waivers to tourists from China and Russia which will be huge for an industry dependent on a declining Japanese market.

"It's been stalled with the Homeland Security Department and seeking the assistance of Secretary Clinton to be able to push this ahead and anything to diversify our tourism market which is our number one industry would be very helpful."

Shawn Gumataotao says Mrs Clinton also committed her support for federal infrastructure funding, needed for the upcoming massive build-up of American troops transferring from their Japanese base in Okinawa.