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Guam celebrates 40 years of tourism

10 May, 2007

As the scenic Guam celebrates the 40th year of the arrival of the first group of 109 tourists in a Pan Am flight from Japan on May 1, 1967, tourism has become the single largest industry on the island and the second largest employer.

At present, tourist arrivals in Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States, stand at over one million annually.

Guam’s capital is Hagatna, and the official languages are English and Chamorro. The island has a land area of 212 square miles (549 square kilometres).

Most experts in diving agree that Guam is among the best diving destinations in the world. Guam provides dives for all skill levels and to suit all interests. And, Guam boasts of being the only place on earth with shipwrecks from World War I and World War II.

Guam is serviced by a number of international and commuter airlines. Regular flights connect Guam with various points throughout Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, the other islands of Micronesia and the Continental United States.

To commemorate the historic flight and launching of Guam’s premier industry – that is, tourism – the island is celebrating 40 years of tourism with a series of special events, festivals, contests, memorial tree-planting and such other activities throughout 2007.

The celebrations began in January 2007 with a press conference held in Tokyo, where it was also announced that Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) is searching for the 109 passengers on the Pan Am flight from Japan on May 1, 1967.

May 1, the anniversary date of tourism and coincidentally, the first day of Tourism Month on Guam, started with a special airport greeting service Guam International Airport.

The first Annual Mango Festival, sponsored partly by the Guam Visitors Bureau, will be held from May 25-27 in the southern village of Agat, a scenic village, the coast of which is dotted with smaller islands and beautiful beaches.

Other activities have also been planned for May 2007, including sending invitations to the original visitors and honeymooners to come back to the island.

The Guam Visitors Bureau will also present on television memorable events from Guam’s history of tourism.

Cultural events will include dance from Guam’s past as well as traditional pre-Spanish contact dances and post-contact Spanish, featuring movements from both Guam’s Chamorro and Spanish history.

More information about Guam’s celebration of 40 years of tourism can be had from the website www.visitguam.org



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