Travel, tourism, and security are working together. North Korea and the United States had been going through months of tough war talk.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un threatening Guam, USA with a nuclear attack was of course talk but had its most likely intended damage to the Guam travel and tourism industry. Specifically, travelers from Japan are sensitive to such talk and to security issues.
What was a loss for Guam, was a Gain for Hawaii, even though Hawaii is American soil and warning sirens were just tested last week.
In September the number of Japanese travelers increased by 6.5% for Hawaii (reaching 140,821) and by 2.4% for Okinawa (reaching 603,600), but decreased by 32.6% for Guam (down to 43,800) on a year-on-year basis.
Hawaii sees a year-on-year growth for every month in 2017 after a 2.5% reduction in December 2016. Although Guam still suffers from media reports on North Korea’s missile attack plans, the demand rose back to the level of last year in April 2017. Okinawa sees a year-on-year growth since April 2016 with more than 700,000 visitors in August 2017.
The graph below shows the monthly changes in the number of Japanese travelers for the three destinations.