21 Apr 2011

Guam tourism eyes new Asian markets after Japan slump

5:46 pm on 21 April 2011

Guam is trying to combat a drop in visitor numbers from Japan by marketing aggressively to other Asian countries.

The Guam Visitors Bureau says the territory experienced a 12 percent decline in visitors from Japan in late March following the Japanese tsunami, and is anticipating a 21 percent drop for April.

The bureau's acting general manager Joann Camacho says 75 percent of Guam's visitors come from Japan and the drop-off is affecting tourism and the wider economy.

She says some hotels have reduced staff hours, but the bureau is targetting markets such as South Korea, Taiwan, China and the Philippines to compensate.

"Of course when you don't have the numbers, they don't have the visits, and they don't have the spending. But we have to, like every other decrease in our tourism business we also get very aggressive in marketing ourselves, and trying to rebound as quickly as possible."

Joann Camacho says the transfer of 1200 military personnel from Japan to Guam to conduct a military exercise has boosted hotel occupancy.