Micronesian Tourism Committee Proposes Regional Small Cruise Industry

HAGÅTÑA , Guam (Marianas Variety, May 12, 2017) By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

A regional panel of the Micronesian Island Forum has recommended the development of an action plan to facilitate the establishment of the cruise industry in the region.

“Micronesia is somewhat underserved by mainstream, large-ship cruise companies and mass-market tour operators. A small ship cruise line company will benefit from first-mover status,” said Nathan Denight, president of the Guam Visitors Bureau and chairman of the Regional Tourism Committee.

In partnership with the Micronesia Cruise Association, GVB engaged the Pacific Asia Travel Association to form a task force to look into the potential of a homeported cruise line and developing and launching a viable cruise tourism industry.

“A small cruise line would help to differentiate Micronesia’s tourism offerings and help shift the island away from reliance on mass-tourism,” Denight said.

While tourism is the main economic driver for most islands in the region, the cruise sector remains untapped. Guam capitalizes on post visits that it occasionally receives.

“A homeported small ship cruise line would benefit from a first-mover opportunity and could very likely spur increased investment,” Denight said.

He added that Guam would be the most feasible location for homeporting given it is the main hub in Micronesia.
Guam’s significant airport infrastructure and direct access from major international hub markets is the logical location for a homeported cruise line, Denight said.

The task force is projecting 38 one-week sailings within a calendar year, with a capacity of between 50 and 400 passengers, each estimated to spend $1,500 per trip. It is estimated that the cruise industry could bring the region annual revenue of between $5 million and $39.9 million a year.

In a communiqué signed during the recently concluded Micronesian Island Forum, the islands’ chief executives agreed to establish regional workforce development programs to provide continuing job training for current tourism industry employees; and establish a baseline of standards, skills and service requirements.

The also agreed to “Continue efforts on the development of a regional sustainability policy for the tourism industry” and “to advance a regional marketing action plan that incorporates a digital roadmap, bringing unique, adventurous, eco experiences of Micronesia onto the World Wide Web and stimulate the regional economy through sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism development.”
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While the Micronesian region’s cruise industry development is in its nascent stage, Guam and Saipan travelers can embark on Asia’s booming cruise industry through the recently launched Star Cruises, the first international cruise line to homeport in the Philippines. Superstar Virgo, a 13-story 935-cabin cruise liner, is the flag ship of Star Cruises.

In collaboration with Asia Cruise Cooperation — an alliance between Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines — Resorts World Manila and Star Cruises have created a package exclusively for the Guam and Saipan market.

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Comments

  • Hen and Egg story again.

    shall we bring the cruise ship first or shall we build recreational facilities for the cruise ship clients ahead of time?

    how will or can a local entrepreneur be assured that investing in something to cater to the cruise ship customers benefit the investment or be profitable?

    won't this be more beneficial to the cruise ship operator than the ports called?
  • This is very encouraging though. Hopefully WE begin educating each other on the need to change our mindsets with regards to hospitality and sanitary habit. These are the two key factors to feeling welcome by our guests.

    Cleanliness and Safety & Security
  • Its a pity that the current Micronesian government is doing its very best to destroy the current small yachting community that travel though Micronesian waters each year, this year alone, at least 5 yachties from Majuro skipped coming to FSM after hearing the horror stories and unfriendliness of the current Chief of Immigration, word will spread, and Micronesia will be currently blacklisted to most cruisers unless the powers to be change their attitudes, realistically its too late, Similar happened in Kosrae several years ago with a greedy port captain, so cruisers gave that country a miss, and now Pohnpe is follow suit, good job guys!!!!
  • Look at This idea very carefully. Other may gain a lot without any to the under developed partner. How much each partner would get out of each package?
  • I wonder how much money is being spend on this. Work with what we have here. Cruise Ships have everything on board. They will spend a bit of money here but for most of it, not. Start by cleaning up Pohnpei, protecting the reefs. I remember when the runway was extended and talks of bigger planes and direct flights. For sure tourists are not coming here to see the new runway and terminal but the reefs, fish and mountains. Keep them clean and preserved. Pohnpei state does not care about the environment or tourism.
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