Typhoon effect still felt as Guam visitors remain below 2002 levels

GUAM. Visitor numbers to Guam fell -32% in January year-on-year while February figures dipped -19% on the same month in 2002, according to figures released today by the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB).

That’s not good news for the tourism-dominated local economy, where DFS is the key travel retailing force. The statistics reflect the painful recovery from last year’s devastating typhoon.

South Korean traffic was down -40% and -29% respectively for the two months; Japanese visitors fell -33% and -20%; Taiwanese fell -19 and -15%; Hong Kong visitors were down -56% and -34% and numbers from the US mainland were off by -11% in January with an +18% increase in February.

The GVB said: “Japan and Korea figures remain below 2002 levels but reflect continuing improvement after the island sustained [the late 2002] direct hit from Supertyphoon Pongsona.”

Some 99% of visitors came to Guam as their primary destination in February, with women dominating in the 18-29 category and men dominating every other age bracket.

DFS airport and downtown duty free sales reached around US$115 million in 2001 (hit by a bad final quarter) on Guam, according to Generation DataBank.

Food & Beverage The Magazine eZine