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Former Gov. Carl TC Gutierrez, President and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau, Permit Czar, and Chairman of the Governor’s Economic Strategy Council, anticipates the return of Filipino travelers

Former Gov. Carl TC Gutierrez, President and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau, Permit Czar, and Chairman of the Governor’s Economic Strategy Council, anticipates the return of Filipino travelers

Håfa adai! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Guam’s long history and ties with the Philippines date back to Spanish colonization in the 17th century.

With the Philippines only a 3.5-hour flight away, Guam is very much a marketable travel destination. The Guam Visitors Bureau thanks United Airlines for its daily direct flights and Philippine Airlines for its twice weekly service to our island.

Air Asia is also already approved and itching to begin service. We’re hopeful Cebu Air will come back soon.

Currently, Guam is on the Philippine government’s yellow list, which means in-bound and return travelers must stay at a quarantine facility for a minimum of five or seven days after arrival ,depending on their COVID-19 vaccination status. Our goal is for Guam to be green-listed in the Philippines so fully-vaccinated travelers can be exempted from quarantine, provided they present a negative PCR test.

Big challenge

A major challenge for travel from the Philippines to Guam is the suspension of routine visa services by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. With no definitive resumption date, only U.S. passport or green card holders and those with current U.S. tourist visas are allowed entry to Guam.

With the Philippines’ low COVID-19 vaccination rate., of about 22%, our Air V&V program is also a key selling point with the Philippine market.

Air V&V travelers Steve and Cora Desist said it best when they summed up their visit to Guam: “It was … truly a one-of-a-kind vacation with a purpose and great news during this time when travelers are looking for alternatives to get vaccinated with their choice of COVID-19 vaccine and have a chance to relax and unwind … for the first time in almost 20 months of quarantines and lockdowns. … We now have found peace, relief and a safe place to take care of our health.”

Incentives

When locals think of the Philippines, medical tourism and shopping often come to mind. In this time of fatigue and uncertainty, we in turn hope to provide our kababayans similar wellness travel benefits in the form of relaxation, safety, and peace of mind.

To further hasten recovery efforts and reestablish and sustain air service to Guam, we also have focused on air service development in our key markets. GVB provides subsidies to airline partners while they proceed to do business during these tough times.

We aim to extend our CHamoru culture and håfa adai spirit to strengthen Guam’s unique selling points and brand equity.

Thank you to GVB board directors Paul Shimizu and Jeff Jones for their guidance in the Philippines Marketing Committee. I also acknowledge our team leading the charge with our Philippine market, marketing manager Sharlene Guerrero and marketing coordinator Karida Brennan.

Sharlene started at GVB in December 2019 but is not new to the marketing industry. She initially handled new markets and air service development, and later assisted with the COVID-19 and recovery task forces. Karida started in 2013, moving up within the ranks from executive secretary, marketing associate, administrative assistant and then to her current position.

Kudos to marketing manager Brian Borja, who is currently helping us with air service development. He has served GVB for the past seven years, having worked in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Russia,and Japan markets. He has over 10 years of project management, special promotions and events experience.

I am proud of the work our marketing team has accomplished to take Guam to the next level.

Philippines date back to Spanish colonization in the 17th century

Former Gov. Carl TC Gutierrez, President and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau, Permit Czar, and Chairman of the Governor’s Economic Strategy Council, looks forward to the return of Filipino travelers to the country and aims to make Guam be green-listed in the Philippines so fully-vaccinated travelers can be exempted from quarantine, provided they present a negative PCR test.

With the Philippines only a 3.5-hour flight away, Guam is very much a marketable travel destination. The Guam Visitors Bureau thanks United Airlines for its daily direct flights and Philippine Airlines for its twice weekly service to our island.

Air Asia is also already approved and itching to begin service. We’re hopeful Cebu Air will come back soon.

Currently, Guam is on the Philippine government’s yellow list, which means in-bound and return travelers must stay at a quarantine facility for a minimum of five or seven days after arrival, depending on their COVID-19 vaccination status. Our goal is for Guam to be green-listed in the Philippines so fully-vaccinated travelers can be exempted from quarantine, provided they present a negative PCR test.

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