Guam Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero plans to visit Taiwan next month to promote a COVID-19 “travel bubble” to reopen the US territory to Taiwanese tourists, news reports in Guam said on Wednesday.
Guerrero told a news conference that Taipei is “very anxious” to receive her, and that the visit would be encouraging for economic diversity and the revitalization of tourism, the Pacific News Center reported.
“And so, the circumstances permitting, yes, I will go to Taiwan,” the report quoted Guerrero as saying.
Traveling to Taiwan is not a concern for her because of its effective COVID-19 control, it quoted her as saying.
“I think they’re the only country really that hasn’t had any COVID-19 surges,” she said. “For a country with a 23 million population, Taiwan has, I think, only about 500 positive cases and only seven deaths.”
The report said that Guerrero wants more tourists and investment from Taiwan, citing Guam Visitors’ Bureau (GVB) President Carl Gutierrez.
The Guam Daily Post also reported that Guerrero is planning a trip to Taiwan.
“The GVB is exploring the possibility of having a travel bubble arrangement with Taiwan,” the Guam Daily Post said. “Bureau officials anticipate that the governor leading a travel delegation to Taiwan will help boost the tourism bubble plan.”
Guerrero in August tested positive for the virus.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that it would make announcements about a potential Guerrero visit pending additional information.
Taiwan maintains good relations and close contact with Guam, as the ministry in October reopened its Guam office, which was closed in 2017, Ou said.
Regarding a tourism bubble, Ou said that the two sides have already had initial discussions and would continue to coordinate on the matter, as COVID-19 prevention is the priority at the moment.
The ministry would closely monitor the disease situation in Taiwan and Guam, while cooperating with the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), she said.
As of yesterday, Taiwan had reported 757 cases of COVID-19, of which 665 cases were imported, with seven deaths, CECC data showed.
Guam had reported 7,183 cases with 119 fatalities, according to a Guam government update as of 6pm yesterday.
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