by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Guam is still excluded from an interim-final rule which would have allowed visitors from China and Russia to come to Guam without a visa. The interim-final rule was posted on the Federal Register this week, exempting Hong Kong and Taiwan visitors from having to obtain a visa to visit the island, but China and Russia are not part of that list.
Tourism Committee Chair Senator Tina Muna Barnes says with a 30% drop in visitor arrivals from Japan in light of the recent earthquake and tsunami coupled with increasing gas prices, a China-Russia visa waiver program is critical to Guam's economy. "This is one time where I urge the governor and our congresswoman to move forward with the Chinese visa waiver," she explained. "The CNMI is still on parole and they've been included and this is one time Guam needs to be on that bandwagon."
The effective date of the rule is set for May 23 - the same day for all comments to be submitted to the Federal Register.