Published on : Tuesday, August 22, 2017
U.S. President, Donald Trump has said that the governor of Guam should not get intimidated by the North Korea threats and that it will see a tenfold increase in tourism as a result of the nuclear threat.
Last week, North Korea threatened to fire ballistic missiles at the US territory, thrusting the tiny Pacific island into the headlines.
Lieutenant governor of Guam, Ray Tenorio said in a statement that the entire time the media is talking about this island, they are safe. Backing up his statement, Nate Denight, the Guam Visitors Bureau president said, “Although the global spotlight has been on our island in recent days, Guam remains the same family-friendly and safe destination it has always been.”
This tropical island sees the footfall of more than 1.5 million tourists every year and the serene beaches are its major attraction; hiking, lush forests and water sports are the added ones. Guam welcomed a record numbers of visitors in 2016 and last month saw an 8 per cent visitor increase compared to the previous July, suggesting that the upward trend is set to continue in 2017.
The island is strongly dependent on the tourism revenue as more than 50% of it comes from the travel industry.
Local experts however are sceptical of President Trump’s grandiose claims about the benefits of the potential nuclear crisis.
Dr Fred Schumann, an international tourism expert and Associate Professor at the University of Guam, said: “Increasing tourism arrivals tenfold will bring our arrivals up to 15 million per year, which will be undesirable for most of the island’s 165,000 residents.
Guam propagates and welcome responsible tourists. Escalating the rhetoric between the US and North Korea is not something that residents and tourism stakeholders see as a clever strategy for increasing tourism arrivals.