Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whose visa waiver?

Or, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Guam is looking forward to getting its share of Russian and Chinese tourists under the visa waiver program.

"Guam may be able to benefit from a similar program if the one in the CNMI proves successful, (Guam Delegate Madeleine) Bordallo and tourism officials have said," according to the Pacific Daily News.*

Uh, oh. Unfortunately for us, Guam's 'share' will probably be larger than ours. They've got the air connections and a lot more attractions. Hong Kong was just added to the list eligible for Guam waivers. It will be interesting to see how they do in that market.

Another uh, oh: "It will open up English language and educational tourism opportunities of longer duration, thereby expanding the mix and menu of teaching modules that have different time horizons," said Guam Visitors Bureau General Manager Gerry Perez.

Where have we heard this before?

Bordallo was lobbying Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano for Chinese and Russian to have Guam included in the 'parole' that was eventually approved for the Commonwealth. According to the article, she's still at it.

That may give the CNMI a very small window to get our act together before Guam is competing for the same tourists. Ah, but we've got casinos.

Well, casino. One, and it's not doing that well. A lot of plans, a few silver shovels getting scratched up in 'groundbreakings'. Don't get me wrong. I hope they work out on Tinian. I have the same hopes for Rota. I hope Saipan doesn't fall for that one.

Meanwhile, Rota leaders appear to be having second thoughts: Small-scale casino pushed on Rota.

Umm, do you mean a poker palace?

* I'd appreciate it if one of my two loyal readers lets me know when this link disappears and the article disappears into the vending-machine archives.


...and now there are three said...

That disappearance from the Variety is almost instantaneous. Hint: When it is working at all try plugging in a date a day before the one you really want in the archived items. That sometimes takes you there.

KAP said...

There are a couple of tricks, actually, their search engine is idiosyncratic. I usually have more luck with searching by subject instead of date.

For the PDN, it's intentional. Once they transfer an article to the archives, you have to pay to see it.

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