Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tourism from China has a ways to go

Interesting piece at Quartz that cites some data forecasting a rise in tourism from China.

It reports that 21,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Guam in 2012, a figure that can rise substantially in time.

It's not far-fetched to think so, or to hope for. Japanese tourism has been immensely important to Guam's employment base, but it also made Guam too vulnerable to changes in Japan's economy. If China's tourism can grow, it might give Guam more stability.

But tourism from China has a long way to go. As the Japan Times reports: In 2012, nearly 929,000 visitors came from Japan to Guam, 71% of the annual total and a 12.7 percent increase from the prior year.

The First Hawaiian Bank economic forecast for Guam reported this:
A total of 1.278 million visitors came to Guam in 2012, up 12.81% over 2011. This level of arrivals has not been reached since 1995-1997. In 2013, visitor arrivals are up more than 5% through April compared to the same period last year, suggesting this year will top 2012’s total despite some challenging events.  
The "challenging events" affecting tourism pre-2012 are related to Japan's recovery from its earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant incidents.

Guam government is making some bets in its 2014 budget that tourism will increase, and points to how critical it is: "Economic stability in the near term for Guam is contingent on a projected modest increase in tourist arrivals as well as continued strong levels of construction activity," it notes

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