It is known for its white sand beaches, gorgeous diving locations – and the fact it is the place most likely to be hit first if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ever becomes over-excited around a red button.
But it seems the threat of instant obliteration isn’t enough to deter some hardy holidaymakers, after new figures showed Guam, the tiny island near the Philippines which hosts a US military base and has been the subject of threats by Kim, has just had its best-ever year for tourism.
Figures published by the Guam Visitors Bureau showed 1.56m people visited the tiny island in the year to September, up 3.2 per cent on the previous year.
In September, the month after Kim threatened to “contain” Guam using his “ultra-modern rocket system”, more than 117,000 people flocked to the island, making it the third-highest September in its tourism history.
During the year, half of visitors came from Korea, while 38 per cent came from Japan and four per cent came from Hawaii. The rest were a mixture of visitors from the Philippines, China, Taiwan, the US and Hawaii, while four per cent came from “other” locations.
“You’re going to go up like tenfold”
“This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen by accident,” said the island’s lieutenant governor, Ray Tenorio, today.
Indeed: in August Donald Trump told Guam’s governor, Eddie Calvo, that the tensions will result in a “tenfold” boost to tourism.
I can say this, your tourism, you’re going to go up like tenfold, with expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you.
It looks beautiful, you know, I’m watching it’s such a big story in the news, it just looks like a beautiful place.
But alas, Calvo admitted today the beginning of this year has been less encouraging, with 7,556 people cancelling their holidays, leading to an estimated loss of $9.5m (£7.2m).
“It isn’t going to be easy, but… we can recover,” he said – with or without Trump’s help.