The island receives about 1.3 million tourists per year, primarily from Asia. Surging visitor arrivals from South Korea this year have made the country Guam’s main visitor market, surpassing Japan. For July, Guam saw 61,097 visitors from South Korea.
In a statement released Wednesday, Guam Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jon Denight assured travelers that Guam was “a safe and protected island destination” and noted a record number of visitors so far this year.
“I know for a fact that there haven’t been any cancellations, but there have been some concerns. We have received some concerned messages,” Oh said.
“We shouldn’t be worried, but according to our reservation system online, many cancellations,” Ko said. “I think we are OK. We are blessed that we’re on American soil and we have the strongest military in the world. But there have been many cancellations.”
“Right now Koreans are not worried about Guam,” Ko said.
No matter who acts first, Ko said he believes Guam’s tourism-reliant economy will be gutted if military action is taken, and that Japanese tourists will abandon Guam entirely if any bombs are dropped in the region.
“It doesn’t matter who pulls the trigger first. If a bomb is dropped, ports and airports are the first to shut down. Economically, Guam will be finished,” Ko said. “I’ll probably have to close my office and move away from here.”
Reporter Kyla Mora covers Guam’s business community, economy, tourism, public health, and anything else that catches her interest. Follow her on Twitter @kylapmora. Follow Pacific Daily News on Facebook/GuamPDN and Instagram @guampdn.