Golden Week could bring an additional 11,000 visitors - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Golden Week could bring an additional 11,000 visitors

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Tourism officials are bracing for a record single-week surge in Japanese arrivals. The airport and GVB held a news conference Monday to announce preparations for what they say will be the "best ever" Golden Week.

Some 11,000 additional visitors from Japan are expected to flock to Guam from April 27 to May 3, or about a thousand more visitors a day. Sixty-eight charter flights have been booked compared to just seven a year ago.

The expected economic impact: $15.4 million. Golden week is typically a busy holiday travel period for the Japanese, but GVB President Pilar Laguana explains that this year's 10-day straight observance will be boosted by the rare transition of Japanese royalty.

"The emperor is going to be handing down his power to his son, she said. "And so it's a huge celebration. No time in history did that ever happen. Usually, they turn over power once somebody passes on. But it's going to be quite unique this year. And for the people of Japan to see a young emperor come into power, it is a great celebration for the people of Japan."

The airport and visitors bureau are getting ready for a huge weeklong surge. GIAA is adding more staff to assist arriving passengers in the immigration and customs queues, and both CBP and Guam Customs are adjusting personnel to meet the expected crunch. GVB is also sprucing up the tourist district by painting medians and crosswalks and has hired additional maintenance to make sure key park restrooms are clean. Security will also be beefed up, with more private guards patrolling the Tumon area. And Laguana is calling on the public to also help welcome the visitors.

"We hope also that our community is also mindful that we have a lot of guests on the island, and if we can just do our part in making sure that they're here to enjoy a good time, to have a safe time while they're here," she said.

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