Charter service from Beijing starting in June - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Charter service from Beijing starting in June

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - It's big news for Guam's number one industry. The beginning of the next era of tourism on Guam is about to start.

"One of the top priorities we decided was to stop waiting for Washington DC and to just go get Chinese customers with or without a visa waiver," explained Guam Visitors Bureau board chairman Mark Baldyga.

With this objective, he says starting next month, the island will begin regularly scheduled charter service from Beijing, China.

With the first arrival slated for June 21st, Guam International Airport Authority deputy executive manager Peter Roy Martinez says they're ready to welcome Dynamic Air to Guam's runways.

"The Chinese market is the dream of any airport all over the world. Here on Guam we're very fortunate to start that in June," he said. "We're ready at the airport. We're excited. And its' good revenue for the people of Guam."

As of today, Dynamic Air is committed to flying Boeing 767's to Guam every five days with a passenger capacity of more than 200 - if seats sell out, that equates to over 10,000 additional visitors to the island annually.

Baldyga notes that last year, Hawaii received 170,000 Chinese visitors without a visa waiver. With more aggressive efforts, Guam could also see similar success.

According to GVB general manager Karl Pangelinan, tourism stakeholders welcome the news and will prepare accordingly.

"We'll get the news out to all the businesses locally to prep for all of this. The entire travel trade is starting to embrace this and starting to prepare for it," he said.

But looking ahead doesn't mean forgetting our largest and oldest market. Baldyga said, "Japan remains a very important market for us. Just to be clear. We need to diversify. Japan is an aging population. The number of Japanese travelers will decline 10-15% over the next ten years. We need to diversify. Russia and china are our two greatest opportunities."

In addition to today's news, GVB announces continued growth from Korea, China and Russian markets. For the month of April, Korea was up 55% when compared to last year, China increased 18%, and Russia up by 235%.
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