Well I have to say this isn’t much of a surprise. Japanese tourists don’t have much positive to say about Guam, pointing out that the hotels are sub par, the local food is ‘awful’ and there really isn’t much to do here except shop for duty free goods. Of course the Guam Visitor’s Bureau spouts off some obtuse remarks about highlighting the local culture and reinvesting in more duty free shops to attract the big spending tourists. That’s not the point dumbo. Sounds like Gerry Perez is focusing in with laser-like precision on the wrong target. Of course he was the brainiac in charge of GEDA when they approved financing for that stupid movie they filmed in the Outrigger.
The whole tourism thing on Guam is damaged and failing badly. After years of marketing ourselves as a bargain destination, that is what we’ve become; cheap airfare, decrepit and run-down hotels, dirty beaches, lots of shopping malls selling crap, abandoned buildings and trash lining the road, a creaky infrastructure that can’t deliver water or power, and home to a dangerous subclass of thieves that prey on tourists with impunity. The island attracts people that can’t afford anything better. Guam has gone from being the Japanese version of the Bahamas to Panama City. And surprise, surprise – all the money the government collected back in the good old days is squandered, leaving very little in the coffers to try and fix things. I wonder if Madeleine Bordallo will spend her hours protesting against Japan Today’s insensitive and offensive remarks in Congress? It will give her something to while away the hours.
Am I coming off a bit cynical here? I should mention that my friend’s car was stolen in broad daylight from a parking lot yesterday while we ate lunch. Walked out from Shirley’s, and it was gone. The cops basically said there’s little hope of recovering it, at least in one piece. Seems like crime is increasing all over the island, with break-ins and ‘home invasions’ becoming common. Not exactly the prosperous land of plenty Governor Camacho believes Guam to be. Everywhere I look, I see signs of stagnation and decay around this island. It depresses me to think of the potential wasted on this island by greed and incompetence. Hell, a million gallon water reservoir collapsed this week, taking out two other reservoir towers in Macheche. And the reason for this failure? Oh well, nobody at Guam Waterworks ever inspected the reservoirs – not once in 34 years. Oops.