Changes and more at GVB
            During the Guam Visitor’s Bureau’s May 28 board meeting, Chairman Pedro “Sonny” P. Ada announced he had accepted the resignation of Vice President Robert “Bobby” Alvarez, as of May 31. Ada announced the interim vice president would be Gerald S.A. Perez – who attended the board meeting.

            During her last report as CEO, Laguaña talked about health protocols announced by airlines. She also announced the research division completed relocation to the GVB office from its satellite location at the AB Won Pat International Airport, allowing for daily arrival data once the office officially reopens.

            GVB Treasurer Samuel Shinohara announced the fiscal 2019 audit is nearing completion, and expected to be released by the Office of Public Accountability by tomorrow, May 29. Shinohara’s report included three motions, one to approve two $15,000 per month contracts for beach cleaning and landscaping maintenance through September, another to update all accounts with removing Laguaña and Alvarez, and the last to approve a finance approval process for the interim management team. All motions were carried.

            In reference to Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero’s May 27 announcement to allow tourism from July 1, Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB interim president said, “Over the last week and a half, we gathered enough information from the industry, and were able to give the governor enough information to make the right decision, which she announced yesterday

            Gutierrez will continue as the governor’s chief advisor on Economic Development, National and International Affairs..”


NMI targeting July for tourists
            Just how the Northern Mariana Islands will receive tourists is still under debate, according to the NMI Office of the Governor.

            While July 15 is the tentative date to officially open for its tourists, the NMI is currently moving ahead with testing and talking about the issue of testing visitors.

            Kevin Bautista, press secretary to Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, told the Journal visitor testing is being discussed by the governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and COVID-19 task force.

            The NMI is also increasing its test capacity, he said.

            As of May 21, when the it announced one additional positive case, the NMI’s COVID-19 count was 22 with seven active cases, 13 recoveries, and two deaths. A May 27 release said all staff and inmates at the NMI Department of Corrections tested negative.


            Guam announced one positive and one probable case May 27, for a total of 171 positive cases, 5 deaths, 143 released from isolation, and 23 active cases.

            Guam’s most recent efforts have included the homeless.


United announces team and travel aims
            United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby announced members of a team to “focus on critical medium and long-term issues.”

            These include developing strategies to allow flexibility in the airline’s cost structure, including labor costs. “Our costs are not designed for the near-term uncertainty of travel demand. Demand could be down 30% or it could be down 70%,” Kirby said in a May 27 release from Chicago. “The way to best survive this crisis is to be able to nimbly adjust the size of the airline, including labor costs, to meet demand and importantly, be ready to bounce back quickly when the virus is defeated,” he said.

               United announced the same day that it delivered 7,500 face coverings to supplement those it provides to employees and customers at San Francisco International Airport and the airline’s San Francisco Maintenance Base. They were made from 12,284 pounds of prior uniforms United “upcycled” in partnership with Looptworks.


TSA gears up for summer travel
            The U.S. Transport Security Administration began seeing increased traffic in May.

            It is warning travelers of procedure changes, such as

  • Placing paper or electronic boarding passes on the reader themselves
  • Separating food for X-ray screening in a clear plastic bag ready for placing in a security tray (except for TSA Precheck members)
  • Taking care that no liquids, gels or aerosols greater than 3.4 ounces are in carry-on
  • One liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry on is allowed, but should be submitted separately for screening.

            Delays may be experienced due to social distancing and passengers will see increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the screening area, TSA said in a May 21 release.