Will tourism survive the troop transition? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Will tourism survive the troop transition?

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Although local businesses are seeing a slump in arrivals, the Guam Visitors Bureau says they're starting to see a turnaround, but the agency is looking further down the road in terms of ensuring tourism survives during the troop transition.  Although Guam Visitors Bureau General Manager Ernie Galito says the tourism has been on a slight upswing in the last few months, he notes, "Our market [has] actually been trending up." 

But while GVB may see the numbers improve, businesses are seeing things go down.  "I'm pretty sure everyone, especially along Tumon Road, have experienced a decline I know a lot of businesses that are losing a lot of tourism...there has been a decline, but we always but we don't put that in our mind that the tourists aren't coming as much we stay positive,": said Galito.

With the impending military buildup, its clear the Guam Visitors Bureau will have to come up with a new strategy to promote the island, Galito says the buildup could be good and bad for tourism.  "I think a lot people will come here if the military is here or not but overall impress might be the population density of Guam may increase and if they view Guam as isolated beach destination and think of other things to do," he added.

One upside, says the tourism expert, is "the good effects would increase airline traffic."

Businesses KUAM News admit that tourism has been on the decline, but whether or not the military buildup with further that decline or boost business remains to be seen.

According to Galito, GVB is formulating a new approach to attracting tourists such as taking them outside of the bright lights of Tumon and showcasing the island's natural beauty, history and culture.  "We want our visitors to go outside of Tumon our initiative is to villages and majors offer some attraction for them to go visit," he said.

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