“Guamanians everywhere should be excited and optimistic about the new level of attention our island is getting from international media powerhouses!  Thousands are already sharing today’s travel piece from the Huffington Post calling Guam ‘the most interesting place in America’ on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  And this positive, feel good story comes just after Guam’s recent appearances on national networks like Bloomberg and Fox News.  Good things are happening here at home and I hope Guamanians everywhere can see that the news just keeps getting better!”

– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo


International news heavyweight gives 11 reasons to visit Guam                                          
Guam is “the most interesting destination in America,” according to the international news organization The Huffington Post.  You can view the article, which includes breathtaking photos by clicking here.  The article, written by Chloe Fox, lists 11 reasons to visit our Pacific Paradise:
1.     The diving — “Piti Bomb Hole features such lushly perfect coral craters that it looks like they were sculpted by bombs. Between Apra Harbor, where WWI and WWII ships sunk on top of each other, to Gun Beach, where stingrays go for breakfast, divers and snorkelers are never, ever bored.”
2.     Chamorro food — “Locals especially crave Finadene (a soy sauce-based condiment) and Chicken Kelaguen, which features lemon, chile peppers and coconut shavings.”
3.     History — “The U.S. territory enjoys the culture of the Chamorro people (the indigenous Pacific islanders), but with heavy Spanish, Japanese, and American influences.”
4.     The culture — “Many equate the culture in Guam to that of Texas. Seriously. Between an obsession with high-school football and little league to the people themselves, apparently the Lone-Star state and the lone island have a lot in common. Guam locals have big hearts and even bigger parties (called village fiestas), and a frontier mentality means that communities are tight-knit and take care of one another.”
5.     The hiking — “To get you drooling, just try Instagram searching the following: Pagat Caves, Cetti Bay, Sigua Falls, Ague Cove, Talofofo Falls and [Marbo] Cave.”
6.     The beaches — “Guam enjoys near perfect weather year round (temperatures range from the low 70s to mid 80s) and the water, according to one local, is warm and uniquely delightful, as if ‘Mother Nature herself drew you a warm bath.'”
7.     Sunsets — “This is the kind of majesty you have to see for yourself.”  This text is followed by photos of sunsets in Agana and Tamuning.
8.     The music — “Reggae and ukelele lovers rejoice. With such a laid-back lifestyle, it’s easy to stumble upon great live music at the beach, the bars or the ubiquitous barbecues.”
9.     Exoticism — “Admit it: vacationing in Hawaii is so last century (ahem, ‘Mad Men’). Guam, on the other hand, is the new exotic destination for America.”
10.  A head start — “Guam is ‘where America’s Day begins’ — quite literally…The island celebrates New Year’s first in America and movies often premiere ahead of the rest of America.”
11.  Romance — “Perhaps the island’s most famous landmark is Two Lovers’ Point, a dramatic and steep cliffside overlooking the Philippine Sea. According to Chamorro legend, two star-crossed lovers, forbidden from being together in life, leaped from the cliff so that they could be together in the afterlife. Not surprisingly, weddings are held there regularly.”
Article generates buzz; HuffPo offers massive reach to Guam                                              
Since being published, the article has been viewed by more than 60,000 people.  In addition to this, this coverage has been shared across social media.
The article now has more than 33,000 likes, and nearly 5,700 shares from their website. The Huffington Post also featured it on its Facebook page, where it received 1,400 ‘likes,’ and has over 551 shares from other Facebook users.
The Huffington Post is a Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, features, and entertainment, as well as a highly engaged community for opinion and conversation.  The internationally-renowned website has 46 million monthly U.S. unique visitors and 78 million monthly global unique visitors.  The Huffington Post has editions in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Maghreb and Germany.  In 2013, The Huffington Post launched editions in Japan, Maghreb, and Germany, adding to its existing presence in other top international markets including Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, and France. Its nine editions, including the US, are in front of half the world’s GDP; in 2014 it will reach two thirds.  The publication plans on adding editions in Brazil, South Korea, and India in the early part of this year.
Article written with Guamanian input; Author hopes to visit island                          
Fox used traditional research and social media to come up with the list that makes Guam the “most interesting destination” in America.  In particular, Fox found inspiration in the many posts on Instagram that feature Guam and her people.  She encouraged readers of the article to do the same, suggesting they search Pagat Caves, Cetti Bay, Sigua Falls, Ague Cove, Talofofo Falls and Marbo Cave on the social network to see Guam’s beauty for themselves.  She hopes to visit the island very soon.
Guam son, Gene Park, helped with story                                                                                  
The article was written in consultation with members of the Guam family.  Gene Park, a Guam son and former local reporter, now works for Honolulu Civil Beat: an investigative website that collaborates with The Huffington Post in Hawaii.  He, along with Anita Hofschneider, a Civil Beat reporter from Saipan, provided information to article author Chloe Fox.  Park also enlisted the help of renowned local photographer Victor Consaga to help provide the amazing photos in the piece.
“The rest of the world needs to know what any son of Guam already knows: Guam is good,” Park said.
Guam seeks Social Media Ambassador                                                                                         
The article underscores the importance social media can play to drive visitors to our island.
“This article has the potential to attract thousands of visitors and bring in millions of dollars to the island.  The Guam Visitors Bureau has been aggressively using social media in all of our visitor markets and uses the latest technology to monitor how Guam is trending in all social media platforms,” said Acting GVB General Manager Jon Nathan Denight. “From last year’s Shop Guam festival to the recent #GuamLove campaign and other promotions, we’ve generated millions of dollars of exposure through social media. And now, we’ve launched a new Social Media Ambassador program to share more personal and local perspectives of our island home.”
GVB has started a new social media campaign that will promote Guam’s story and encourage people to visit the island.  Those who participate in the two-month long program will be made “Social Media Ambassadors” of Guam.  The program is open to residents and will last from April 1 through June 7.  Volunteers will receive a GoPro camera. The photos and content generated will be shared through GVB’s global social media channels. The deadline to apply to become a Social Media Ambassador is March 24, 2014.

End of Release

03.19.14 Huffington Post 103.19.14 Huffington Post - Huffington Post 3

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