The United States needs to live up to the goals of its National Travel and Tourism Strategy by approving a visa waiver for Chinese visitors to Guam. In 2012, the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness stated: “Travel and tourism are critical to the American economy. This growing industry offers significant potential for job creation across all regions of the country.” To make that a reality, it came up with a strategy that federal agencies should take specific actions, including: reducing institutional barriers to the free flow of trade in travel services; and expanding the visa waiver program, among other initiatives.
Now is the time for the federal government to follow-through on this strategy by giving visa waivers to tourists from mainland China who want to travel to Guam. Doing so will greatly benefit the local economy and serve to introduce more Chinese to the United States. It also will open up other areas of Micronesia to China travel and benefit their economies. According to Forbes, China had about 102 million outbound travelers from April 2013 to March 2014. Capturing even a small fraction of that would mean a huge boost to our visitor industry. And because tourism is the economic engine that drives the economy, that would translate into big benefits for the entire community.
The island’s elected officials — senators, the governor and the delegate — need to work in concert to continually push for the federal government to finally make the China visa waiver for Guam a reality. They must press the matter with Congress, the White House, Homeland Security and other federal entities, reminding federal officials that the visa waiver falls in line with the National Travel and Tourism Strategy. Welcoming more Chinese visitors is a major goal of the United States because of what it will mean for the economy, as well as relations between the two countries. And what better place to start making that happen than here in Guam, where America’s day begins?
Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars
Article: Guam PDM