Meeting with the tourism agencies of Guam and Palau would not just strengthen ties but could potentially be beneficial to the overall tourism in Micronesia.
Marianas Visitors Authority board member Jerry Tan expressed the point at a recent board meeting, saying the recent announcement of Delta Air Lines and United Airlines about flight cuts to Guam and Palau effective January 2018 is possibly concerning to both destinations.
“I’ve been sitting on the [MVA] board for a long time but despite many attempts we don’t seem to be able to get together with the [Guam Visitors Bureau] and [Palau Visitors Authority],” Tan said.
“Guam is undergoing some problems in terms of flight reduction. I have been following Palau and last year the leadership came out to express concerns about limited resources,” Tan added.
He proposed that the MVA board should meet with GVB and PVA once a year at the very minimum.
“Guam and Palau have opportunities. We have our own opportunities but we also have our own challenges. At the end of the day, we belong to the same region. We do compete but at the same time we have a healthy and friendly competition,” Tan said
“It’s not lack of trying. We did try but [it did not happen] for whatever reason. This is my proposal and we should make this possible for 2018. It would be better if we can make a commitment to do it once a year. For all we know, this meeting to raise concerns from everyone might be beneficial to all of us,” he added.
MVA managing director Chris Concepcion and the rest of the board agreed.
“The dialogue among MVA, GVB, and PVA would be helpful. I understand that in the past, there have been joint meetings between MVA and GVB,” said Concepcion.
MVA board member Chris Nelson said the MVA board should make it happen.
“The easiest way to do it is in Guam, especially if Palau is coming. If we do it on Rota, it would probably get cancelled week before because of the schedules in Palau and Guam and I know we’ve invited Guam to Saipan before. I think we can actually learn more going there (Guam), especially about tourism.”
Concepcion said that MVA would work on the plan.