Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 18 Jul 2018 12am







    Tuesday, July 17, 2018-8:07:41P.M.






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Survey: CNMI is not widely known as a gaming destination

ONLY 30 percent of visitors from the three major CNMI markets — China, Korea and Japan — are familiar with casino and poker places on Saipan, the Market Research and Development Group Inc. reports.

Of the 30 percent visitors, 16 percent comprise Chinese, eight percent, Koreans, 4 percent, Japanese and 2 percent for other markets.casino01L

“So the concept of the CNMI as gaming destination is still not widely known among those three markets,” said Jay Merrill, president of Market Research & Development Group Inc.

Of the 1,710 visitors surveyed, 50 percent are not familiar with casino and poker venues in the CNMI, 17 percent don’t know about legalized gambling, 4 percent refused to respond, and only 29 percent knew about the gaming industry.

Among those who are familiar with casino and poker venues, Merrill said, only 40 percent participated during their visit and 26 percent don’t gamble because they are not interested, 32 percent also don’t play at casinos and poker parlors even if they are interested, and two percent don’t know how to play.

Of the 40 percent who are familiar about the games, Chinese comprise 23 percent of them, Korean, 13 percent and Japanese, 4 percent.

“It seems the awareness of this industry is growing but the penetration among most of the visitors coming to the island has been relatively slow through 2017,” Merrill said.

Based on the survey, Merrill said 77 percent of the visitors from China, Korea and Japan, visited a casino and gambled, 21 percent gambled at a hotel, 2 percent played at poker place, 6 percent said they don’t know, while 2 percent refused to answer.

Of the 77 percent who visited a casino and gambled, 96 percent of them are Japanese, 58 percent, Chinese and 83 percent, Koreans.

Merrill said 52 percent who have participated in the gambling enjoyed their experience during their visit, 34 percent “somewhat” enjoyed, 6 percent did not feel one way or another about the experience, 4 percent have not enjoyed much, and 3 percent disliked the experience.

In his presentation during the Marianas Visitors Authority general membership meeting at Kensington Hotel Saipan on Thursday, Merrill said his group conducted an  exit survey to find out who the visitors were and how long they would stay in the CNMI.

   The survey also sought to determine  what motivated visitors to come, how they purchased their trip, what they did when they came in, how much they spent, and how satisfied they were with what they encounter.

The surveys from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017 have 2,145 respondents which has 95 percent accuracy rate and +/-2.2 percent, confidence level while the surveys conducted form Oct. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 have 427 respondents with 95 percent accuracy and +/-4.8 percent confidence level.

He said the three major markets  China, Korea and Japan, were randomly surveyed as they departed the airport, adding the information was collected “face to face using tablets with ‘in-language’ questionnaires.”

The data, he added, were then assembled to reflect the same proportion of visitors from each market as reported by visitor entry data.

In another data, Merrill said they found out that only 22 percent of the visitors from the three major markets have not participated in any optional tours and activities in the CNMI while 78 percent spent time in tour events.

Of those who participated in tour activities, 82 percent of the Chinese joined the activities while only 18 percent did not join. 75 percent of Korean visitors participated and 25 percent did not and 71 percent of Japanese participated but 29 percent of the total Japanese visitors did not.

Only 37 percent of the visitors preferred to dine in a hotel during their stay in the CNMI while 30 percent most often had casual dining at restaurants.

About 19 percent liked to have fine dining at restaurants, 10 percent at fast food places, three percent at convenience stores, and one percent in other places.

Of the three major markets, 55 percent who preferred to dine at hotel are Koreans followed by Chinese at 24 percent, and Japanese, 18 percent.

At least 50 percent of the Japanese visitors liked casual dining at restaurants; 25 percent of Koreans and 29 percent of Chinese chose causal dining at restaurants.

During their CNMI visit, 87 percent of the tourists shopped at stores while only 13 percent did not shop.

Most of those who do go shopping are Koreans and Chinese and only a few are Japanese.