Senators, GVB promoting discounts for locals - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators, GVB promoting discounts for locals

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Still in its infancy stages, but lawmakers are partnering with the Guam Visitors Bureau to bring bigger incentives for locals who buy local.

"Like a Hafa Adai Spirit card. If you share that to the local businesses then they would be able to give local discounts and I think it's a very positive thing moving forward," said Senator Tina Rose Muna Barnes. In a letter addressed to GVB general manager Karl Pangelinan last week, Senators Brant McCreadie and Barnes are hoping to establish a discount program at local businesses for local residents.

"As simple as it is I think that this is an opportunity for us working closely with the business community and the Guam Visitors Bureau as we continue to promote local shops, local businesses," she added.

Pangelinan says this has been the plan since the Hafa Adai Pledge was established, but help from lawmakers could move the program to the next level.

Pangelinan says he's seen the model in Hawaii called the kama'ania rate, which in Hawaiian translates to "child of the land."

The discount program could easily piggyback on GVB's already-established Hafa Adai Pledge program in which businesses commit to greeting customers with "Hafa Adai" hellos as well as wear island print on Fridays.

 "This has actually been something that GVB has been working on. One of our own pledges back to the pledge was for our participants who as you know, already number almost 500, I think, as of the last signing there were 470. It's really been our commitment to add more value to our Hafa Adai Pledgees; part of that would be potential promotion of a possible discounted rate or a Hafa Adai rate," he shared. "To organize the program, a lot of these companies are already organically have these types of discounts available it would just be for us to sort of organize it and get it all together potentially under one big promotional campaign where we can direct customers and our locals to patronize these businesses who are offering these types of pledges."

Meanwhile, GVB continues to hold its Hafa Adai Pledgees accountable and looks to move forward with implementing mystery shoppers. "We just want to go out and ensure that they're living up to what they pledged when they signed the document," Pangelinan said.

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