Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Oct 2018 12am

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    Sunday, October 21, 2018-3:07:14P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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MVA anticipates slight decrease in arrivals

THE withdrawal of Eastar Jet from the Korean market has caused a drop in arrivals to the CNMI, Marianas Visitors Authority board chairwoman and Gloria Cavanagh said during the MVA general membership meeting at Kensington Hotel Saipan on Thursday.

“As of January, visitor arrivals to the Marianas stood at just over 209,000, a less than 1 percent difference…compared to the same period last…year,” she said.

After several years of growth in arrivals, she said MVA expects to see a slight dip this year.

She noted that Delta Airlines will suspend its flight service starting in May, but added that MVA has also started negotiating with several other airlines that serve Japan.

Marianas Visitors Authority officials led by Managing Director Chris Concepcion and board chairwoman Gloria Cavanagh pose with guest speakers and other guests of MVA during its general membership meeting at Kensington Hotel Saipan. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño
Marianas Visitors Authority officials led by Managing Director Chris Concepcion and board chairwoman Gloria Cavanagh pose with guest speakers and other guests of MVA during its general membership meeting at Kensington Hotel Saipan. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

“I am free to say those talks look favorable and we are anticipating securing a new air service from Japan this year,” she said.

The MVA leadership, through Managing Director Chris Concepcion, is also working with the administration and the Commonwealth Ports Authority to close a deal as soon as possible and secure continuity for the Japan market, she said.

She also lauded Rick Egged, one of the guest speakers at the MVA general membership meeting, for sharing his “broad insights and understanding about the tourism industry that may be adopted in the CNMI.”

Egged is president of the Waikiki Improvement Association, a non-profit organization focusing on stimulating the business environment of Waikiki, Hawaii.

Concepcion, for his part, said MVA is also grateful to the other speakers: Jun-Ichi Inada, principal partner of WIN Landscape Planning and Design; Jay Merrill, president of Market Research & Development Group Inc.; and Mariana Coates, project management of the CNMI Occupational Safety and Health Administration on-site consultation program.

During the meeting, Concepcion introduced 2018 Marianas Tourism Ambassador Yorko Summer, an underwater photographer, dive instructor and travel journalist who helps promote the Marianas in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.

“Our campaign with him includes outdoor advertising at one of Taipei’s busiest metro stations, video production and photography, social media, and photography lectures,” Concepcion said.

He likewise informed MVA members about upcoming events which include the Tagaman Triathlon on March 24, the first annual Rota Coffee Marathon on April 14 and Konqer Saipan on April 28.

Concepcion said the Micronesian chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association will hold its meeting on Saipan from April 24 to 26 before the Flame Tree Arts Festival.

The CNMI will also host the Micronesia Islands Forum with the governments of Micronesia.