Good news from the Korea market for Guam and Saipan

  • Air Seoul will start to provide two flights a week on the Incheon-Guam route starting on Dec. 23, according to its web site.
  • Asiana Airlines plans to fly the Incheon-Guam route starting in December, although the exact date hasn’t been announced, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport gave approval in September.  
Asiana Airlines last flew the Incheon-Guam route in March 2003. 

Asiana also resumed Incheon-Saipan flights in July and flies the route every Saturday.  The airline plans to increase Incheon-Saipan flights to twice weekly, starting in December.

  • Online communities for newlyweds and engaged couples feature long lists of posts showing users are planning to go to the Maldives, Hawaii, Guam or Cancun, Mexico, for their honeymoons later in the year or early next year, according to the Korea Herald.

Travel agencies — hit hard by the pandemic for more than a year and eager to return to normal — are showcasing new package deals targeting Korean honeymooners seeking to go overseas, the paper said.

  • GVB already announced that Korean Air is increasing flights on the -Incheon route from two to four flights a week.

Ten groups of 60 persons will arrive from Dec. 1 to March 19 as part of a MICE group, the bureau said. GVB is also planning a media FAM tour from Nov. 7 to Nov. 12, according to Journal files.  


Rooms for Saipan tourists still an issue; submarine tender in Saipan

While Korean visitors are ready to visit the NMI, Saipan does not yet have the number of rooms to receive them all. “We cannot accommodate everyone who wants to come here at this moment,” Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres told the Journal. Warren Villagomez chairman of the NMI COVID taskforce, said, “We do have ample rooms identified.” Both Torres and Villagomez said the aim is to have the hotel rooms ready before Nov. 8, when vaccinated non-U.S. citizens will be allowed to enter the U.S. The island does have enough rooms at its quarantine facilities at Kanoa Resort and Pacific Islands Club, Villagomez said.

In other visitor news, the USS Frank Cable – the submarine tender homeported in Guam – is visiting Saipan from Oct. 19 “for at least a week,” Villagomez, said. The Frank Cable is accompanied by a submarine. About 500 personnel will be allowed off the vessels to visit the island, he said.

Commander Cynthia J. Fields, public affairs officer for the Submarine Force of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, told the Journal, “Frank Cable departed Apra Harbor, Guam, as part of a scheduled patrol, Oct. 18. This deployment will be the ship’s first since turning over lead maintenance activity responsibilities with the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land in September.”

Saipan’s harbor can accommodate small to medium sized military vessels. Prior to the pandemic the island saw regular military port visits.


Lt. Governor and mayor of Saipan announce candidacies

Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios and Mayor David M. Apatang of Saipan announced their candidacies for governor and lieutenant governor on Oct. 21. Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said he wished them luck at an Oct. 22 news conference. Torres earlier announced his running mate, Sen. Vinson F. Sablan, who is also chairman of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.


Palau updates Corporations Act

A new Corporations Act modernizes and simplifies business start-up and operation requirements by eliminating unnecessary and outdated formalities, aimed to make it simpler, faster, and more cost-effective to register and manage businesses in the future. The act also ensures that Palau complies with global anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism obligations, strengthens and clarifies director duties, and makes the provisions for foreign companies seeking to do business in Palau more robust, according to an Oct. 21 release from the Asian Development Bank.

More than five years in the making, the act was developed with support from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative — an ADB technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

Established in 2006, PSDI works with ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth. A link to the act is not yet available, according to ADB.


HK residents allowed work in the US

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a Federal Register notice Oct. 21 with information on how to apply for employment authorization for eligible Hong Kong residents covered under the president’s Aug. 5 memorandum directing Deferred Enforced Departure for 18 months, through Feb. 5, 2023. Hong Kong residents will also be allowed to travel, according to an Oct. 21 release.


GEDA preps Guam SSBCI credit program

Guam will soon see a new venture capital credit program, in the way of an expansion of the Guam Economic Development Authority’s State Small Business Credit Initiative program. With this additional initiative, businesses that need the credit will need to have 50% of their ask already funded, through other loans, and the other half would be from SSBCI, according to Melanie R. Mendiola, CEO and administrator for GEDA.

During the Oct. 21 board of directors meeting, Mendiola announced a new round of small business assistance, which GEDA will begin taking applications for on Nov. 1 and applications can be submitted through Nov. 19. This round will have $325,000 to give away, with the maximum award of $25,000, helping at least nine small businesses.

She also announces that GEDA’s financial report for fiscal 2021 shows it “is in the black, from operations alone, not counting any other income,” which she noted is good, especially for the past couple years.


Medical investigators to arrive in Guam

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending a team of deployers to Guam to support case investigation and address the “dead on arrival” cases related to COVID-19. This was made in response to a request by Arthur U. San Agustin, director of the Guam Department of Health and Social Services to Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of CDC earlier this month.

Three additional members from the U.S. Public Health Service arrived the week of Oct. 11 and one member who previously arrived in October was extended for 30 days. The four clinical laboratory scientists are assigned specific roles at the Guam Public Health Laboratory. All four are highly skilled U.S. Department of Health and Human Services senior officers providing technical laboratory assistance to GPHL.


For your diary:

The Guam Association of Realtors is hosting a virtual town hall for buyers and sellers on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Topics will include the importance and role of escrow, the benefits of working with a realtor, and the different stages of the buying and selling process. Additional topics will include property inspections, selling strategies, the Realtor Political Action Committee, and a presentation by industry experts: ANZ, the Guam Housing Corp., Security Title Inc., the USDA, and a VA loan representative.

The Drug Enforcement Administration will hold its 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Designated sites to receive unused prescription drugs and vaping device products are the Agana Shopping Center’s Center Court, the Andersen Air Force Base Exchange Store Entrance, the Dededo Mayor’s Office, the Malesso’ Mayor’s Office, the Naval Base Guam Navy Exchange Food Court, the Saipan Commonwealth Health Center Outpatient Pharmacy, the Rota Health Center, and the Tinian Health Center. mbj