TUMON, Guam—The Guam Visitors Bureau hosted the Visitor Industry Briefing on the Dengue Virus last Sept. 27 at The Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. More than 150 GVB members, industry stakeholders and government officials gathered to learn from subject matter experts about what they can do to minimize the spread of the virus and the possible effects on Guam’s tourism industry.
Speakers and panelists included Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero; W. Thane Hancock, MD, MPH from the U.S. Center for Disease Control; Tom Nadeau, chief Environmental Public Health Officer and Dr. Susan Kaneshiro, chief Public Health Officer from the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS); Charles Esteves, administrator, Office of Civil Defense; and Ike Peredo, director, and chief Vincent Perez, deputy director, from the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency.
GVB president and CEO Pilar Laguaña noted in her remarks that the GVB team felt it was important to facilitate the sharing of information amongst industry partners. “We wanted to ensure they received accurate information from the experts. We thank our speakers for equipping us with the information we need to keep our residents and visitors safe.”
Laguaña also spoke about the bureau’s message for industry stakeholders and source markets: It is business as usual for Guam’s visitor industry.
She said, “GVB is actively preparing for FY 2020 and is pressing forward to continue the momentum of record-breaking arrivals. We are communicating to our partners in the source markets that Guam remains a safe destination, and we are ready to receive travelers with our warmest Håfa Adai spirit.”
GVB has been working closely with Gov. Leon Guerrero and her administration and commends their proactive response to the situation.
Laguaña added, “We are confident that our island is doing everything possible to control the virus. Our community’s support does make a difference.”
GVB tasked local businesses to rally behind the Government of Guam’s efforts to eradicate the virus by cleaning up their properties to remove standing water and cut back vegetation where mosquitoes can breed. GVB also encouraged attendees to stay informed and establish protocols for how to address visitors’ needs.
GVB continues to monitor international media and social channels for mentions about this issue. The bureau has received only a few mentions or inquiries at this time. GVB also noted that hotel and airline partners have not reported any group cancellations as a result of this issue.