Guam governor to visit Taiwan for tourism bubble talks: reports

12/17/2020 04:25 PM
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Jakarta, Dec. 17 (CNA) Guam Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero is planning to visit Taiwan in January to discuss her island's reopening to tourism, according to news reports from the U.S. territory on Wednesday.

Guerrero said at a press conference that Taiwan's government is "very anxious" to receive her and that the visit will be encouraging for economic diversity and the revitalization of tourism, Pacific News Center reported.

"And so, the circumstances permitting, yes, I will go to Taiwan," the report quoted Guerrero as saying.

She added that Taiwan is not a concern for her because of its effective COVID-19 control.

"I think they're the only country really that hasn't had any COVID-19 surges. For a country with a 23 million population, Taiwan has, I think, only about 500 positive cases and only seven deaths," she said, according to the report.

The report mentioned that Guerrero wants to get more tourists and investment from Taiwan, citing Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) President Carl Gutierrez.

Meanwhile, the Guam Daily Post also reported on Guerrero's planned trip to Taiwan.

"The GVB is exploring the possibility of having a travel bubble arrangement with Taiwan. Bureau officials anticipate that the governor leading a travel delegation to Taiwan will help boost the tourism bubble plan," the report said.

According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 757 COVID-19 cases reported in Taiwan, most of which have been imported, with a total of seven deaths as of Dec. 17.

Responding to CNA's questions, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said her office will make relevant announcements relating to Guerrero's planned visit pending additional information.

However, she reiterated that Taiwan maintains good relations and close contact with Guam as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs just reopened its office there in October.

Regarding to the tourism bubble, Ou said the two sides have already had initial discussions and will continue to coordinate on the matter, as COVID-19 prevention is the priority at the moment.

Last Friday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced in a statement that visitors from Taiwan can visit the city state without the need for quarantine beginning Dec. 18 as long as they test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Emerson Lim)

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