Thursday, March 19, 2015

We are Guam

I just finished up an article on tourism, colonialism and cultural revitalization in Guam. Part of the article discussed recent interventions by both government and private entities to diversify Guam's tourism industry by trying to make it more locally focused and take it out of the bubble of Tumon. I discussed several failed campaigns over the years which often didn't amount to anything. Some of those campaigns seemed to hold a lot of promise, such as the village ambassador program (my grandfather was chosen as the ambassador for Mangilao because of his status as a cultural master). I am looking forward to seeing if this new program We are Guam, which was a name used several years ago for another initiative, leads to more concrete results and improvements.

Former Miss Earth Guam and GVB to Launch We are Guam Program
Written by 
Pacific News Center
January 19, 2015
In an effort to boost the island's tourism, 2012 Miss Earth Guam Sarah Filush says she's working with the Guam Visitors Bureau to launch the We are Guam program.

Want to be a part of the team that builds destination Guam?

2012 Miss Earth Guam Sarah Filush says to be ready as We are Guam, a program to get the community involved in improving the island for visitors, is in the works.

Filush says, "There's hotels, there's different attractions, there's tourist destinations, but the community also plays a big role in treating our guests. They want to come to Guam and we need to make sure that they feel welcome."

She says part of their plans include visiting various schools around the island to teach children how to be a part of the Guam brand -  from taking care of the island, to saying Hafa Adai to visitors, to showcasing the culture.

Filush says, "Let's change the generation. Let's change the kids' mindsets, let's do something for the island. Maybe it won't happen right away, maybe 10 to 15 years from now, we can really see a big impact."

She sends a message to the community.

Filush says, "It's up to us as a community to take care of our island. You know we're all proud of where we're from and a lot of that has to do with cleaning up after yourself, treating others the way you want to be treated, and being good to one another so you guys can do it!"

For more information about the We are Guam program, e-mail Sarah at or call the Guam Visitors Bureau.

1 comment:

NaiveSocialist said...

We haven't really attracted the type of tourists that appreciate cultural tourism this is why the campaigns aren't very successful.

Tourists that are attracted to cultural tourism tend to want to stay in small B&B's, inns, or Boutique hotels. Our hotel inventory consists mainly of resorts. They know the impacts their stay has on the local economy and society, so they will want to mitigate their impact and increase the wealth of the local people.

Resorts really only bring in mass-tourism. Tourists who travel in packaged tours, stick to an itinerary and, don't spend as much on island. These tourists are also not very concerned about the local economy.

If we want more locally focused tourism, we need to amend the GCA on the chapter of Hotel Development and consider changing where GVB directors are appointed from.

Hotel development incentives are focused on developers who build 200+ hotel rooms and who will invest a minimum of $5,000,000.

It also doesn't help that many board members are involved in business in Tumon, their goals and plans will be biased towards Tumon. They will want to protect Tumon business.


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