MEET THE TEAM: From left, Mark Manglona, GVB marketing manager; Geri Gutierrez, former first lady; Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB president and CEO; Dee Hernandez, GVB director of destination development; Gabbie Franquez, GVB marketing manager; and Valerie Cruz Sablan, executive secretary, attend the 28th Pacific Islander Festival Association in San Diego, California. Photo courtesy of GVB
LOCAL MUSICIAN: Danny de Leon Guerrero performs in front of 200 people at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club in San Diego California for a meet-and-greet event hosted by GVB. Photo courtesy of GVB

MEET THE TEAM: From left, Mark Manglona, GVB marketing manager; Geri Gutierrez, former first lady; Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB president and CEO; Dee Hernandez, GVB director of destination development; Gabbie Franquez, GVB marketing manager; and Valerie Cruz Sablan, executive secretary, attend the 28th Pacific Islander Festival Association in San Diego, California. Photo courtesy of GVB
LOCAL MUSICIAN: Danny de Leon Guerrero performs in front of 200 people at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club in San Diego California for a meet-and-greet event hosted by GVB. Photo courtesy of GVB
The Guam Visitors Bureau held the 28th Pacific Islander Festival Association at Ski Beach in San Diego, California in an effort to reconnect with the stateside community of CHamoru residents. 
The annual event hasn’t been held since 2019 and has captured the attention of more than 300,000 Pacific Islanders. On Sept. 24 and 25, people of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia combined efforts to perpetuate the cultures and values of Indigenous people, according to a release from GVB.
This year, a total of 123 vendors from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Tahiti, Pohnpei, Chuuk, the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Hawaii, Tokelau, Fiji and Tonga attended PIFA. 
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The importance of the recovery of tourist attractions was expressed by the different groups who attended the festival.
“We are making a diligent effort to build up our North America market by reconnecting with the Guamanian diaspora and our extended family, friends, and military families that are linked to the island. We updated them on our goals to build up seat capacity and better rates with our airline partners by working out more affordable travel packages to Guam,” said GVB President & CEO Carl Gutierrez. 
Guam’s sons and daughters
A meet-and-greet was hosted by GVB with the assistance of The Sons and Daughters of Guam Club. A member of the club, Jojo Borja and her husband, Mario Borja, Sakman Chamorro Project director, assisted in San Diego at the club’s home.
More than 200 people were in attendance at the event, including local residents of Guam. The long-standing organization has existed since 1953 and is currently led by President Antolin Taijeron and Brenda Diaz, board chairwoman.
Gutierrez shared updates on Guam’s tourism recovery efforts and committed GVB’s support to the organization. GVB also met with the House of Chamorros and Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity to further preserve, promote, and perpetuate the CHamoru culture and language in the U.S. mainland, the release stated. 
House of Chamorros
GVB met with board members of the House of Chamorros to tour the new international cottages in Balboa Park. 
President Jeff Macaraeg, Vice President Janice Bouffiou, and board members Phillip Gogue Jr., Dolores Cepeda, and Lola Waller, liaison, discussed the group’s vision on Guam and the Marianas. Gutierrez shared plans to work with airline carriers to develop future commerce for travel to the islands.

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