On Feb. 15 the Guam Visitors Bureau unveiled its Five-Year Strategic Plan for 2007 through 2011 before the 29th Guam Legislature. The purpose of the plan is to set a strategic direction and isolate key issues and initiatives aimed at improving the island’s competitive position in the global market and to promote continuity and community support for the adopted strategic direction despite changes in political leadership.

The Visitors Bureau did not include any "tactical" or implementation details but did include recommendations on how to achieve the following goals by fiscal 2011: increasing total annual visitor arrivals to 1.53 million; increasing Japanese visitors to 1.1 million and Korean visitors to 290 700; increasing the length of stays from three nights to four or more nights by 13% for Japanese visitors and increasing stays of four nights to five or more nights by 6% for Korean visitors; and increasing on-island spending from $640 to $768 for Japanese visitors and increasing Korean on-island spending from $401 to $480.

Also included were recommendations for marketing; development and maintenance; development and enhancements; institutional reforms; community support; and government relations.

The plan calls for Guam to "Refresh its appeal to encourage repeat visitors and new awareness to attract visitors from core and emerging markets. Guam also needs to communicate the right message to the right target group to influence their destination buying decision and create a profitable environment for those who generate our visitors."

In addition "Guam must build new attractions develop activities and create events to instill interest to visit Guam. Guam must do this not only to enhance the quality of life on island but also to face emerging competitors."

Mary P. Torre president of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association; told the Journal "I think the five-year plan is an opportunity to revisit some of the reasons why we haven’t been able to hit our visitor numbers. The intent is good. The specifics of the plan will require a lot more than just a presentation to the senators and the governor. It’s going to need a lot of support from the community and a lot of funding. That is the biggest concern with all of the priorities given to us to review such as infrastructure issues. With the growth that we’re expecting this is only one of many priorities being asked of the different organizations."

Gerald S.A. Perez general manager of the bureau; said that the plan was well received by the governor and the tourism committee.

"Everyone understood that there are lots of issues. We need to work together on as a community to make Guam a more competitive destination."

Perez said details of the entire plan would be posted on GVB’s Web site possibly by March 5 after GVB members are briefed on March 2. MBJ