In 2018, Guam lost its major source market of the past 40 years, and although arrivals have held steady, with increases in the Korean market, that change in arrivals mix, has been very challenging to traditional revenue streams. The industry has been very proactive in developing new business models and strategies to capitalize on this trend. However as new business strategies and products are developed, cost structures also change to secure that new business.
There are also many global trends that will continue to challenge Guam’s Hospitality Industry and the Island’s competitiveness. Most importantly, the trend of how consumers purchase products. This has put downward pressure on prepackaged products, which have been the main stay of Guam’s tourism industry, and central to the way in which the Island has been marketed. Coupled with this, is the rise of Low-Cost Carriers which has helped Guam by spurring some arrivals, however, these LCC’s are also flying within Asia. Making Asian destinations more accessible and more affordable than Guam.
2019 portends to be an interesting year, arrivals from Japan have been buoyed in the last quarter of 2018, and that increase is expected to last at least through March. This will be a welcome start to the year. In conjunction with this; a new administration, with new priorities, and a focus to improve the economy; forward movement on the Military buildup. These are all causes for some initial optimism. The concerns are that the fundamental shifts on the global and local level will continue to challenge the business environment and cost structures, these will create considerable headwinds as the Industry works to stay relevant and competitive within Asia.
As an organization, it will be important to take the long view on how to respond to these challenges and encourage all the stakeholders’ in our industry to do the same.
I look to all of you for your support this year, to work together as an organization, together with all the stakeholders of our Island community, that we can make Guam a better place to do business, and a better place to live.
I am honored by your confidence in electing me to the board, and the opportunity to serve as your Chairman for the GHRA in 2019. I want to thank all the members of the board, for all their contributions during this past year and look to this year’s board, for their continued contribution and support. I look forward to working with you and the membership, to continue to make the GHRA the premier trade organization that it has become.
Si Yu’os Ma’ase,
Jeffrey W. Schweizer