Hafa Adai My Fellow Guamanians,
Just last month, we recorded the seventh highest tourist arrival numbers in our history. More than 126,000 visitors arrived on Guam in a one-month period. Compared to last year, this is nearly 18,000 more tourists for March alone and more than 40,000 over October’s numbers.
Our Russian visitor arrivals are on the rise and are already more than double the amount seen last year with across the board increases from our Asian neighbors. From January to March alone, there’s been a 59 percent increase in visitor arrivals from Taiwan.
Along with the money these visitors spent at restaurants, stores and local attractions, their stay with us already has brought more than twelve million dollars in hotel occupancy taxes into the government since October.
My fellow Guamanians, our economy is growing stronger every day. We’ve created a momentum for growth that must be fueled by collaboration and hard work from every branch of government and every creative mind in the private sector.
Our push to strengthen the local economy is not bound by tourism. Building a sustainable future requires innovation, vision and a collective strategy to lay the foundation for new industries.
In a couple of days, I’ll be leading a trade mission to Taiwan where we’ll hold an investor seminar highlighting the opportunities available on Guam. We’ll be following up with businesses who are already making plans to open up shop on our shores ... and we’ll be pursuing new partnerships to help diversify the industrial and economic landscape of your island.
Guam is America in Asia – a hub of potential that can be so much more than a strategic defense point in the Pacific. We want to bring more opportunities for you and your families. We want a diverse workforce – a thriving community of people with vast backgrounds, skills and the expertise to build and sustain this island from within.
Our economic development efforts, coupled with a strong vision to market tourism in Asia will bring more dollars to Guam. More money flowing through our economy means more jobs for you and your families and more opportunities for your children to explore.
Today and tomorrow, thousands of hardworking Guamanians will be heading to the Department of Revenue and Taxation to file their taxes. I assure you that this administration is doing everything possible to make sure your hard earned money is spent wisely. More importantly, I assure you that your money is being spent on serving you better.
I invite you to join me and my cabinet members every week. We’re taking our transparency efforts to the next level and providing weekly reports on the progress your government is making. We want you to know how hard your GovGuam family is working every day… Our updates include week-by-week analysis reports and information on how we’re improving government services, fighting poverty and building for the future.
You can read up on these reports by visiting our website or by tuning in on PBS at 5:30 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
We’re rolling up our sleeves, tightening our belts and doing our best to do more with less. Despite unavoidable setbacks and unnecessary efforts to thwart progress, we’re still moving forward.
Let’s keep the momentum going my fellow Guamanians.
Thank you, may God Bless you and may God continue to bless Guam.