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GVB's strategy for 2020

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Guam Visitors Bureau is preparing for the future, one they hope by 2020 includes double the amount of visitors arriving to the island.

2 million visitors is the goal the Guam Visitor's Bureau intends to reach by 2020. But in order to achieve that goal small steps must first be taken in order to attract, grow, and retain a sustainable tourism market. GVB's 2020 Plan focuses on eight key objectives, GVB chairman Mark Baldyga described, saying, "The most important is to improve quality in order to improve yield because Guam has become rather a cheap destination and the spending of the Japanese here has dropped substantially over the last few years."

Diversifying the market, adding hotel rooms, marketing our Chamorro culture, extending the length of visitor's stay and promoting local attractions are among the eight goals of the 2020 strategy.

While the scope of the plan is large it is fundamentally reliant on budget and with budget sessions in full gear at the Legislature GVB remains hopeful that their requested numbers are approved. "We are not proposing that we change the entire island to become a four season we are just proposing that we layer on a bit of quality and slowly start to change our image a bit if that makes sense. But more urgently there are things that we need to do to just keep the tourism levels that we have started to enjoy the last couple of years," he continued.

It's the little things that matter and sets the path to achieving their 2020 goal. GVB has requested an additional $2.5 million in capital improvements as a part of this year's budget. Baldyga is hopeful that the allotment for the improvements doesn't end up on the chopping block, stressing the importance as GVB has many projects lined up. He said, "I really hope it doesn't get cut cause it will be a problem we have I got a long list of things here I'll just pick out a few things. Abandoned buildings, bus stop shelters, cross walks, culvert cleaning, flood remediation, graffiti, lighting, police presence the repairing sidewalks and curbs."

He adds that there are exposed electrical wiring and open holes amongst a long list of items that need to be addressed throughout Tumon in order to accomplish a basic level of maintenance that is critically needed now not in 2020. You can read more about GVB's 2020 Plan at VISITGUAM.com.

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