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GVB prepares for 55th anniversary of first Japan flight to Guam

55th Japan Guam Logo

With the Japanese market slowly emerging from pandemic travel restrictions, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) is hard at work to prepare for the 55th anniversary of the first flight from Japan to the island. It was on May 1, 1967, that Pan American Airways flew in 109 Japanese tourists to Guam to mark the beginning of the modern age of travel.

Fast forward to 2022, several different campaigns and initiatives have been launched to help with the recovery of the Japanese market in preparation for the 55th anniversary.

“We’re proud of the work our team has been doing to keep a consistent presence in Japan during the pandemic and we’re excited to set our sights on the 55th anniversary of that first flight,” said GVB Director of Global Marketing Nadine Leon Guerrero. “We invite our Japanese family and friends to re-discover our beautiful home again and know that they’re safe and taken care of while they are visiting us.”

Members of Guma’ Famagu’on Tano’ yan I Tasi pose in front of the Guam booth at an Osaka travel expo in Japan.

Mes Chamoru celebration

In conjunction with Asahi Broadcasting Corporation’s popular TV program “Tabi Salad,” GVB participated in a travel expo in Osako to reconnect with Japanese consumers. The event was held for three days from March 19 to 21, and a total of 16,000 visitors attended. The event was also broadcasted live on “Tabi Salad” and is estimated to have been viewed by more than 10 million people.

Guma’ Famagu’on Tano’ yan I Tasi performed and showcased Guam’s charm to thousands of visitors on the event stage. The group is led by Professor Kyoko Nakayama, who trained under Master of CHamoru Dance Frank Rabon in the Guam Chamorro Dance Academy.

Yuka Tabata and Shi Ho Kinuno, two Osaka ambassadors from GVB’s #HereWeGuam campaign in Japan, were also present to promote Guam to consumers.

GVB President & CEO Carl T.C. Gutierrez, Director of Global Marketing Nadine Leon Guerrero, and Japan Marketing Manager Regina Nedlic welcome Japanese TikTok influencers who are on Guam for a familiarization tour of the island through March 26, 2022.

Expanding Guam’s influence

GVB has focused its efforts during the last several months on in-market awareness campaigns such as #HereWeGuam and also hosted familiarization (fam) tours that re-introduce Guam’s activities and attractions to Japanese travelers.

Ambassadors from Japan and global brands like HYPEBEAST Japan were on island earlier this month to participate in optional tours and promote how Guam has adapted during the COVID-19 era. Additionally, six Japanese TikTok influencers are on Guam for a fam tour that began March 23 and ends March 26, 2022. The influencers include @ringotiktok, @onumaaaaan, @eitohara0828, @karen_ahaha, and @yuma..pho. The influencers were split into two groups to cover different themes around love, food, shopping, nature, and adventure in Guam.

GoGo! Guam campaign

GVB plans to launch its GoGo! Guam campaign in Japan to strengthen its relationship with the travel trade to increase visitors to the island. The campaign is scheduled to run sometime in May 2022 through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.

The Bureau is also working with Japanese travel agents, airlines, and wholesalers, as well as Guam’s travel trade partners, to develop travel packages for the 55th anniversary in May.

“The good news from Japan is that fully vaccinated Japanese nationals can now travel to Guam and return to their country without quarantine,” said Japan Marketing Manager Regina Nedlic. “This important shift in pandemic restrictions is key to the 55th anniversary as GVB shifts its focus toward the travel trade.”

A 55th-anniversary logo was also developed to signify the first flight to Guam, combining the number 55 with the infinity symbol to show the hope and enduring relationship between Guam and Japan. The anniversary launch is planned for Japan’s Golden Week.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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