Airline flights update
- United Airlines flights on the Guam-Narita, Guam-Nagoya, Guam-Osaka and Guam-Fukuoka routes are suspended/remain suspended until Oct. 30.
- Japan Airlines flights on the Guam-Narita and Guam-Osaka routes are suspended until Nov. 30.
- Korean Air will fly twice weekly between Guam and Incheon from October
- Jin Air will continue to fly twice weekly on the Guam-Seoul route
- Jeju Air will fly twice weekly on the Guam-Seoul route from Oct. 28
- Air Seoul will begin flying once a week on the Guam-Seoul route from Oct. 8
- Air Busan will fly twice weekly on the Guam-Busan route from Nov. 4
Sources: Guam Visitors Bureau, KAL, JAL, MBJ files
Guam’s source markets show travel reluctance
Only 19% of source market visitors plan to travel in the next one to two years.
Compared to Korea – 43% and Taiwan – 52%, a high proportion of Japanese travelers – 73% – will not travel outside the country for vacation until the pandemic ends. That information was shared at the Sept. 23 Guam Visitors Bureau board meeting.
Other statistics shared were that the top three factors for selecting a destination are low rates of COVID cases – 70%, advanced hygiene measures – 65% and vaccinations required for all visitors – 45%.
Many potential travelers – 67%, were willing to pay a premium for implementing safety measures at the airport and adding a digital and touchless experience.
Other information shared at the GVB board meeting was that
- Guam saw 58,627 arrivals for the fiscal year as at Sept. 19. Gerald S.A. Perez, vice president of GVB said 39,405 or 70% were military personnel and arrivals from the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.
- President Joseph R. Biden plans to life restrictions for all international visitors to the U.S. in November.
- There are still issues with the digital Health Declaration Form for arrivals at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam: that 86% of arrivals are still completing printed forms, that arriving passengers are not informed of the forms, and that the forms are only in English – although DPHSS was provided translations, but still needs to secure a vendor to translate the forms.
NMI increases quarantine for unvaccinated arrivals
With what the Commonwealth Healthcare Center said was guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effective Sept. 24, all inbound travelers originating from a Level 3 or higher jurisdiction on the CDC travel recommendations list who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to quarantine for seven days in a designated government facility if they submit a negative PCR test dated no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival, or 10 days if they do not submit a negative PCR test dated no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers, regardless of travel origin, are still required to quarantine for five days in a designated government facility. Any stop over 24 hours in a Level 3 or higher jurisdiction will count as a traveler’s origin. All travelers will still be tested for COVID-19 on arrival and on their 5th day in quarantine. Fully vaccinated travelers will be released after they test negative for COVID-19 on the 5th day. Unvaccinated travelers will be tested on their 5th day in quarantine, but will be released on the 7th day if they test negative and have submitted a negative PCR test dated no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival. Unvaccinated travelers who have not submitted a negative PCR test will be released on the 10th day if they test negative on their 5th-day test. The CHCC may conduct additional PCR tests on the 7th or 10th day when deemed clinically necessary. All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated in the designated government facility for 10 days. Fully vaccinated travelers must include their vaccination documentation in their mandatory health declaration form prior to their arrival. Essential workers requesting entry into the NMI must complete the essential worker request section within the online NMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three days prior to arrival. The request will be reviewed by the NMI Territorial Health Official for a decision. Not all requests are automatically approved.
In other news, the NMI’s COVID-19 Infoline has a new number and operating hours. Call (670) 488-0211 or email [email protected]. The hotline runs 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday to Sunday.
Palau president calls for UN to include Taiwan; focus on climate change
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly general debate on Sept. 21, President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. called on the organization to “accept Taiwan as a valuable contributor to our collective efforts and strongly advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the UN system.”
Whipps said of the country and its tourism bubble with Palau that it had “allowed Taiwan and Palau to resume medication and educational cooperation and recoup economic engagement.”
The president asked the UN to respond to the existential threat of climate change. “In April of this year, Palau – which was outside the Typhoon belt – was hit by Typhoon Surugae – our third typhoon since 2012.” He said the typhoon “damaged 20% of our homes, destroyed major infrastructure … destroyed millions of dollars of crops and wreaked significant havoc on our reefs and corals … consequently undermining Palau’s food security.”
Referring to Compact of Free Association negotiations, Whipps said, “I am confident the new U.S. administration will rise to the task and correct previous deficiencies.”
The speech can be found at Palau – President Addresses General Debate, 76th Session | UN Web TV
Guam executive recognized for prestigious international tourism award
The Word Tourism Network has bestowed the Tourism Heroes Award on Mary P. Rhodes, president of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association.
In a first such award for Guam, Rhodes was recognized because during 2020 and 2021, she led “several initiatives during the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of industry employees, residents of the community and military personnel on Guam while serving as a liaison for the tourism industry with both the local and federal governments overseeing, coordinating” a number of programs and activities.
See full details here: Mary Rhodes, Guam – Heroes Travel Tourism Award
Grant program offers CHamoru women bartering and micro loans
I Hagan Famalåo’an Guåhan Inc. has launched,I Metkao Famalao’an Guahan Para Sinestienen Ekunomiha(The women of Guahan’s marketplace for a sustainable economy), which aims to strengthen indigenous CHamoru women’s economic capacity by creating a virtual
Cooperative marketplace, creating a non-cash bartering site based on traditional chenchule’
(reciprocity) practices and offering micro loans to CHamoru women whose products are rooted in traditional livelihood practices. The goal of the project is to empower CHamoru women to engage entrepreneurial projects and reduce poverty.
The micro-lending component will offer small interest free loans for CHamoru women as an alternative strategy to promote their economic independence and support business practices that honor indigenous knowledge, values, and life ways. Interested individuals can attend a workshop to review the loan application, discuss concepts of traditional livelihood practices, and learn about other resources from the Small Business Development Center and the Pacific Islands Microcredit Institute. The workshop will take place on Oct. 9, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom. Participants can register for the workshop at: https://bit.ly/IHFG_Loan. The application for the micro loan is available at http://bit.ly/IHFG_Microloan.
IHFG is also calling for cultural and traditional products made by CHamoru women for the online store. Interested individuals are asked to email IHFG at [email protected] for more information.
Guam Community College received a $475,200 grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to install an additional 100 kW grid-tied solar system at the GCC Campus in Mangilao. The 100-kW PV system’s additional solar capacity will save the institution an estimated $4,455.00 a month or $53,460.00 a year, according to a Sept. 24 release.
The Northern Mariana Islands Public Schools System has been awarded a grant of $6 million for construction of a technical and career education center at Marianas High School. The grant is the last of seven applications from the NMI to the Economic Development Administration for Super Typhoon Yutu recovery projects. EDA has now awarded $93.89 million to the NMI.
And also …
John J. Witt passed away on Sept. 16. Witt served most recently as chief of staff to Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam’s former delegate to Congress. Mass and rosaries are being held at the San Vicente/San Roke Church in Barrigada until Sept. 24.
Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero wrote to the U.S. Department of the Interior on Sept. 22 requesting $3 million to support a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “charrette” or planning study for a medical campus containing a new Guam Memorial Hospital.
The Northern Mariana Islands government closed at noon on Sept. 23 through Sept. 24, due to the approach of Tropical Depression 20W – later renamed Tropical Storm Mindulle, a low-end tropical storm. Shelters opened in Saipan and Tinian, with shelters in Rota on standby. The government of Guam remained open. Some flights were cancelled in both Guam and Saipan.
Cabras Marine Corp.’s Oil Spill Response Operations Co. contained an oil spill from a Smithbridge crane loading cargo for Black Construction Corp., according to a Sept. 23 release from the Port Authority of Guam. mbj