China-Guam charter flights planned for Lunar New Year
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A U.S.-based airline plans to operate charter flights for Chinese tourists to visit Guam’s white beaches and warm waters during the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays.
Dynamic Airways will fly 15 flights to Guam from Beijing, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang and Chengdu using a Boeing 767 plane.
The flights are expected to bring about 3,000 Chinese tourists to the U.S. territory between Feb. 10 and March 6, the Pacific Daily News (http://bit.ly/1wIyJ1W) reported Friday.
Dynamic also flew charters to Guam during the same busy travel season last year.
United Airlines launched twice weekly flights direct from Shanghai to Guam last year. It is the only airline that operates regularly scheduled direct flights from a Chinese city to Guam.
Guam’s Tourism 2020 master plan aims for 2 million tourists a year. It plans for 10 percent of the total to come from China.
Guam welcomed more than 16,000 Chinese travelers last year, a 45 percent increase from 2013.
The U.S. territory about 1,500 miles south of Tokyo has spent years trying to convince the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to start a visa waiver program for Chinese visitors, but has been unsuccessful.
The neighboring Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands sees about 150,000 Chinese tourists every year, said Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo.
Starting in 2009, Homeland Security allowed qualified Chinese and Russian tourists entry into the Northern Marianas without the need for U.S. visas if their travel was for business or pleasure. They may stay visa-free for no more than 45 days.
Homeland Security began allowing Russian tourists to enter Guam without U.S. travel visas about two years ago.
Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com