Guam showing signs of economic strength
The recent economic outlook in Guam suggests stability in current conditions, and the possibility of future growth. At the Bank of Guam 2020 Fall Economic Forecast Forum, a number of experts convened to discuss the current state of the Guamanian economy, and what changes may take place going forward. Tourism in the territory has been taking off in recent months, as Guam received approximately 1.6 million visitors throughout 2019, which is a record. Guam Visitors Bureau Vice President Bobby Alvarez noted the changing trends in travel, as more visitors are seeking out individual travel and AirBnB accommodations, as opposed to traditional tour services and established hotels. Tourists are also seeking out experiences that display local culture and traditional aspects of the area.
Department of Labor Chief Economist Gary Hiles also noted that the overall economy of Guam is stabilizing, and expected to continue this trend based on current projections. Especially promising is that there is little seasonal variation in economic conditions, displaying a lack of cyclical changes in financial returns for local residents and businesses. Officials on Guam are currently looking to emphasize sports tourism and educational tourism as well, seeking to increase year-round visitors to bolster the local economy.
One aspect of the Guamanian economy for which officials want to address is the dip in consumer spending that has taken place in the territory under current conditions. The topic of climate change was also discussed at the Bank of Guam 2019 Fall Economic Outlook Forum, as the “Purpose beyond Profits” theme of the conference sought to address issues at the intersection of both economic and social conditions. Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at the Bank of Guam, Jackie Marati, noted the changing climate requires grassroots efforts, and collaboration among all instead of competition again one another.