TUMON, Guam – The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) was recognized as a key player in US tourism and was awarded an Export Achievement Certificate by the US Department of Commerce signed by the Assistant Secretary and Director General.
John Holman, Director of Pacific Islands/Hawaii Export Assistance Center, was on Guam to present GVB with the certificate. GVB General Manager Joann Camacho and Marketing Manager Pilar Laguaña accepted the award on behalf of GVB.
Holman described Laguaña’s dedication to promoting Guam travel as an export commodity. “Pilar and GVB have learned to leverage their assets better than anyone in the country. Guam is front and center when we think about tourism to the US,” said Holman to Guam industry leaders and press gathered at the GVB office.
Holman has worked hand-in-hand with GVB at overseas trade shows and events to promote the US territory as a destination. Holman commended Laguaña for helping to pioneer the Group Leisure Travel (GLT) program in Shanghai, China, which has reduced visa wait times down to an average of 6 days with a 90 percent acceptance rate. The GLT program has since been adopted by the US and has resulted in more charter flights to Guam and Hawaii.
Holman also commended GVB for successfully entering new markets and for promoting US tourism at every opportunity. He cited President Obama’s goal to double US exports in the next 5 years, relating that last year, exports grew 17 percent and they are up 16 percent this year. Holman also said that 24 percent of US exports are travel and tourism related.
PHOTO (L to R): Guam Senator Tina Mua Barnes; GVB Marketing Director Pilar Laguaa; Director of Pacific Islands/Hawaii Export Assistance Center, U.S. Commercial Service, John Holman; GVB General Manager Joann Camacho; and Guam Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio