HAGÅTÑA, Guam—Steady hands and a new voice. That’s the message sent by Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz’s appointment of directors to the Guam Visitor’s Bureau board on behalf of the 34th Guam Legislature.
With a 300-percent increase over the last five years, the Korean visitor market has been essential to offsetting the declining arrival and expenditure numbers from Japan, a traditional staple of Guam’s tourism industry.
Careful to maintain strong growth in the Korean market, Cruz appointed veteran tourism expert and immediate past GVB Korean Marketing Committee chair Bartley “Bart” Jackson. Jackson was previously elected by GVB members on the board and currently serves as chairman of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association board.
“While Bart and I haven’t always agreed on matters of policy, when it comes to tourism and our exponential growth in the Korean market, I can’t think of anyone better suited for the job,” said Cruz.
Along with Jackson, Cruz also appointed to the GVB board Young S. Hong. A pillar of the Korean community, Hong is the immediate past president of the Korean Women’s Association and currently serves as president of the Momo Corp. in Guam.
“Ms. Hong might be new to the GVB board, but with her experience as a business woman and her leadership in the Korean Women’s Association, she clearly understands the pulse and rhythm of this very important market,” said Cruz. “Japan is at the center of our tourism base and no one can ever deny its enormous importance, but to grow, we need to do things differently. And for that, we need new voices.”
Appointed to serve as legislative appointee-alternate director is Theresa C. Arriola. Arriola’s experience in GVB includes her previous positions as deputy general manager, secretary of the board of directors and chair of the Cultural Heritage and Community Outreach Committee. She has also served as a board member and marketing consultant for Pa’a Taota Tano.
“Theresa is a veteran of the GVB board and an outspoken advocate for the Chamorro people’s unique cultural heritage,” said Cruz. “Her presence on the GVB board demonstrates that while our marketing strategies may change, the specialness of our island will not.”