Latest News
HomeAsia-PacificGuam celebrates forty years of tourism

Guam celebrates forty years of tourism

On May 1, 1967, a Pan Am flight from Japan arrived on Guam carrying 109 passengers who were the island’s very first tourist group. Forty years later with annual arrivals of over one million, tourism has…

On May 1, 1967, a Pan Am flight from Japan arrived on Guam carrying 109 passengers who were the island’s very first tourist group. Forty years later with annual arrivals of over one million, tourism has become the single largest industry on Guam and the second largest employer.

In commemoration of the historic flight and launching of Guam’s premiere industry, the island is celebrating 40 years of tourism with a series of special events, festivals, contests, memorial tree planting, and much more throughout the year. The celebration officially began in January with a press conference held in Tokyo, where it was also announced that GVB is searching for the original 109 passengers and the 20 couples who were married on Guam forty years ago.

While other activities, including launch of the Hafa Adai Card campaign and the Oyazi Band contest with guest judge, Akira Terao, are planned for Japan; monthly festivities are planned for Guam, too. In April, one of the most popular trade shows takes place April 13 and 14. The Pacific Hotel and Restaurant Expo, or PHARE 2007, sponsored annually by the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association, highlights businesses in the western Pacific that cater to the hospitality industry. In addition to exhibition booths, PHARE will include industry seminars and the wildly exciting, highly anticipated bartending competition.

On April 21st, in conjunction with the grand opening of the new Sheraton Laguna Resort, a VIP Reception will be hosted by the Governor at Government House. Visiting Travel Agents, local industry leaders, and other dignitaries will be present. April events conclude on the 27th with a Proclamation Signing and cake cutting ceremony at the Guam Visitors Bureau in Tumon.

May 1st, the actual anniversary date of tourism and coincidently, the first day of Tourism Month on Guam, kicks off on the first with a special Airport Greeting Service that includes refreshments from the ProStart Culinary Students and entertainment at the Guam International Airport. That same day, the Tourism Education Council welcomes Mr. Peter Apo, who will host a presentation on the importance of a “sense of place.” The 1st Annual Mango Festival, sponsored in part by GVB, takes place May 25-27 and is an excellent example of the new kinds of events Guam is creating at the village level to entice visitors to explore more of the island and to sample the individual charm of each village. The Mango Festival is being held in the southern village of Agat, a beautiful village whose coast is dotted with smaller islands and gorgeous beaches.

There are many other activities planned for May, including a special supplement commemorating the history of tourism on Guam from Directions magazine, the planting of Memorial Trees, and invitations to the original visitors and honeymooners to come back to the island. GVB will also present History of Tourism vignettes on television to showcase tourism milestones.

May is also the month that the GVB and TEC launch a series of radio and TV interviews with industry members and a group of community members who are recognized as the Pioneers of Tourism on Guam. The Guam Council on the Arts & Humanities will host a drawing contest for Guam’s younger students, kindergarten through 5th grade. Their artwork, which will portray “My Ideal Guam TRIP (Tropical Resort Island Paradise) will be displayed throughout the island at leading shopping malls for everyone to enjoy. Also on display at local malls will be the Milestones of Tourism photo exhibit, sponsored by the Guam Museum and Department of Parks & Recreation’s Historic Preservation division. May ends with the Excellence in Tourism Awards, that include a Manager’s Award from GVB recognizing the outstanding efforts of an individual working in the tourist industry.

Festivities continue throughout the summer months, culminating in a black tie event in October called “Commemorating Pioneers of Guam Tourism,” where the inspirational people who have aided in the growth and expansion of tourism on Guam will be honored. The final event of Guam’s 40th year of tourism will be on October 27th and will be a benefit event for the Guam Museum Foundation. The event will feature more culinary creations from the ProStart students with the support of wait staff from the University of Guam and Guam Community College tourism students. Cultural entertainment for the event will showcase dance from Guam’s past and include traditional pre-Spanish contact dances, post contact dance that feature movements from both Guam’s Chamorro and Spanish history, as well as, the more progressive contemporary style of modern Chamorro dance.

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | + Articles

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.