Barnes wants new tourism/economy group - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Barnes wants new tourism/economy group

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Government leaders are monitoring how the devastation in Japan will impact the island's economy.  The Guam Visitors Bureau is bracing for a dip in arrivals. Tourism on Guam is responsible for 20,000 jobs on Guam and nearly 60% of the island's economic base is tourism-related.

Committee chair on tourism Senator Tina Muna Barnes is not only asking Governor Eddie Baza Calvo to form a high-level working group on tourism and economic stability, but also for the group to consider several things:

  • a temporary shift of some marketing dollars from Japan to other markets, specifically  Korea, Hong Kong or Taiwan
  • a temporary moratorium on airline fees paid to the Guam International Airport Authority as long as a reasonable offset can be found
  • a temporary moratorium on government fees, taxes or other charges directly related to the tourism industry as long as the revenues are not dedicated to essential functions of the government
  • the group should consider any other recommendations which will strengthen and preserve our tourism industry

The high-level working group, according to the veteran policymaker, would be composed of representatives from the Governor's Office, GVB, GHRA, major airlines tour package wholesalers, and other stakeholders.

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