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    Tuesday, August 21, 2018-3:45:55A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Guam visitor arrivals reached 1.54M last year

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Guam counted 1,543,990 tourists last year, an increase of 0.06 percent compared to the total in 2016, preliminary Guam Visitors Bureau numbers show.

Last year’s arrivals make 2017 “the best calendar year in Guam’s tourism history,” according to the visitors bureau.

The South Korean visitor market surged with a 25.6 percent increase in tourist arrivals last year, helping to offset reduced arrivals from Japan.

The total showed a further erosion of Guam’s Japanese visitor market, which decreased by 16.8 percent, or 125,133 fewer Japanese tourists, compared to 2016.

Tourists cross the street on Pale San Vitores in Tumon on Jan. 5. Guam visitor arrivals reached a new record of 1.54 million last year, but Japanese visitor numbers continued to drop, while South Korean arrivals surged.  Photo by David Castro/The Guam Daily PostTourists cross the street on Pale San Vitores in Tumon on Jan. 5. Guam visitor arrivals reached a new record of 1.54 million last year, but Japanese visitor numbers continued to drop, while South Korean arrivals surged. Photo by David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Last year showed Japan visitor numbers sliding to almost half of what Guam used to see.

Japan now makes up just 40 percent of total visitor arrivals to Guam, compared to 80 percent of the market about a decade ago. Guam saw 620,547 Japanese tourists last year.

South Korea now makes up the largest visitor market, at 44 percent of the total. South Korean arrivals reached 684,443 visitors last year.

“Completing the year with 1.54 million visitors is a great milestone for our visitor industry,” said GVB President Nathan Denight. “The growth and diversification of all of Guam’s visitor markets collectively helped the island achieve that number, as well as the hard work and dedication of our tourism industry.”

Guam recorded 139,608 visitors in December 2017, marking it as the second-best December in Guam tourism right behind December 2016, according to a joint release from the governor’s office and GVB.