Pilar Laguana, an international tourism veteran, is now in charge of the Guam Visitors Bureau. She thinks out of the box, she has a global mindset, and she is a prominent figure in the global travel and tourism industry.
The new president and CEO, Pilar Laguana, was appointed on February 15, 2018 to lead the most important industry in the U.S. territory – Guam. She took over from former GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight
The GVB Board of Directors unanimously voted Pilar Laguana as the new head of the agency. Board members also confirmed her nomination for Bobby Alvarez to serve as her Vice President.
The board could have not made a better decision.
Previously Ms. Pilar Laguaña has been the Marketing Manager of Guam Visitors Bureau since May 1987. She managed to position Guam as a major global travel and tourism destination.
Pilar always reached out to global markets. Her recent effort to include LGBT travelers to visit Guam was the first for Guam and well received.
Her tourism career began in 1977 as the first candidate under the GVB Management Promotions Internship Program.
Over the years, Ms. Laguaña advanced through the ranks of Promotions Specialist for various markets until she was promoted to Deputy General Manager in 1982. Five years later, she opted to continue her career as the bureau’s marketing manager.
In her role as manager, Ms. Laguaña is responsible for the establishment, overall planning, development, implementation, coordination and supervision of all the bureau’s worldwide marketing and promotional activities.
As a team player with skilled organizational, managerial, analytical and supervisory skills, Ms. Laguaña played a key role in opening up the Korea market in the early 1980s and consistent growth of international markets including Japan, Taiwan, North America/Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, Micronesia, Australia, Europe, and China.
Ms. Laguaña is an active member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which awarded her the prestigious PATA Award of Merit in 2009.
She is currently serving a second term as chairman of the National Tour Association’s (NTA) Leadership Team China Task Force. She also holds the longest tenure in the PATA Micronesia Chapter, in which she serves as the organization’s Marketing Committee Co-Chair.
She is a 2011 charter member of the Hawaii Pacific Export Council (also referred to as the District Export).
Ms. Laguaña has earned the Outstanding Young Woman of America award three times, and has been awarded several other honors including being named the Institute of Japanese Studies Awardee, receiving a Guam Legislation Resolution in recognition of her involvement in the research and production of the Jack DeMell Music & Legends of Guam, and being named a Governor of Guam Honorary Ambassador-at-Large.
Her past experience within the tourism industry includes work within the Travel Industry Association (TIA), terms on the editorial board of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association (GHRA) and the GHRA Public Relations & Marketing Committee.
Ms. Laguaña acquired her high school and college education in Hawaii and also pursued her professional Japanese language and cultural training from The Tokyo School of Japanese Language – Institute for Research in Linguistic Culture, (Tokyo, Japan).