January 11 2019  |  Industry News

Guam celebrates record year in 2018

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Guam welcomed 1.55 million visitors in 2018, the best year in the island’s history, according to Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB).

December 2018 finished off the year strong by welcoming 146,104 visitors. This represents a 3.7% growth over the previous year, making December 2018 the best month ever by beating the previous record of 145,817 visitors set in August 2018.

The growth in arrivals is directly related to the overall increase in available seats to Guam. There were around 982 flights for the month of December 2018 with 197,228 seats available, a 5.68% increase when compared to the 186,634 seats reported in December 2017.

“We congratulate everyone in the tourism industry for pushing through 2018 with fantastic results and welcoming 1.55 million visitors to our island paradise,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “We have much to look forward to in this new year as we grow and diversify in our source markets, share our Chamoru culture and work to welcome 1.6 million visitors in 2019.”

The Japanese market’s recovery also continues, with Japanese arrivals jumping 27.24% in December 2018 when compared to the previous year.

Korean arrivals for the month decreased 8.9% due to the reduction in seats with carriers such as Korean Air and Jeju Air. However, year-to-date arrivals for Korea continue to show strong growth, ending the year +9% versus 2017.

Other markets that showed growth in December include Taiwan by 6.8%, the US by 6.8%, Hong Kong by 17.1%, and the Russia Federation by 25.3%.

The success of the airline incentive program from GVB and Guam International Airport Authority (GIAA) continues to attract more seats to Guam.

In December, United added four more flights a week between Guam and Nagoya. T'way also began its Nagoya-Guam service on December 29 and will run through October 2019. More than 130,000 seats on 700 charter flights are scheduled for 2019.

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