Micronesian official to discuss regional tourism

by Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News): April 10, 2002 - Representatives of visitors bureaus in the Micronesia region are scheduled to meet on Guam next week to talk about reviving region wide efforts to lure longer-staying tourists.

The University of Guam's International Tourism Department is organizing the Fourth Annual Micronesian Tourism and Hospitality Conference on April 17 at the Holiday Inn Resort Guam.

Chris Bejado, an outreach coordinator at the UOG tourism department, said discussions at the conference will include ways to revive region wide tourism promotional efforts similar to the "Magnificent Micronesia" campaign.

Promoting multi-island destinations will help the islands attract tourists who can spend 10 days or longer hopping from one island to another in the Micronesia region, Bejado said.

For example, European tourists can come to Guam to shop, then proceed to see the ancient ruins of Nan Madol in Pohnpei and dive in Palau, he said.

"There is a niche market out there looking for 10-day stays," Bejado said. Many of Guam's visitors stay just a few days.

Representatives of visitor industries in the Northern Marianas, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are expected to join Guam visitor industry people at the conference.

Travel agents and tour operators are invited, Bejado said.