Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2019 12am







    Monday, June 17, 2019-8:35:02P.M.






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August arrivals down 7%

(MVA) —  According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to Saipan, Tinian and Rota registered 56,548 visitors in August 2018, compared to 61,026 visitors received in August 2017 — a slight reduction of 7 percent. Total visitor arrivals to the Marianas for the fiscal year are 6 percent lower compared to the same period last year.

Buoyed by 28 summer charter flights, arrivals Japan posted a 2 percent uptick in August. Although arrivals are expected to again taper off after the summer season, daily flights from Japan to Saipan are anticipated to be launched by Skymark Airlines in 2019.  Meanwhile, MVA is aggressively promoting travel to Saipan from Japan via Seoul with enhanced marketing and new travel packages offered by major travel agencies, including JTB and H.I.S.

“We’re pleased to see the results of our negotiations with airline partners for charter flights bringing  a  boost  in  visitor  arrivals  from  Japan  last  month,”  said  MVA Managing  Director Christopher A. Concepcion.  “This is a good sign that there is still interest in and demand for the Marianas in Japan. Meanwhile, Skymark Airlines continues their preparations for launching direct daily service to Saipan.  An announcement will be forthcoming.  We all eagerly await the full restoration of the Japan market.”

Arrivals from Korea dropped 12 percent to 27,350 visitors, yet the country continues to retain its position as the top performing source market. The decline is largely due to fewer flights than in August 2017 from both Seoul-Incheon and Busan. To capitalize on summer travel, Jeju Air launched daily charter flights from Seoul-Incheon from Aug. 3. T’way Air will operate additional charter flights with a combined 1,500+ seats from Sept. 21-29 during Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving holiday week.  The Marianas continues to face steep competition from regional destinations so MVA has aggressively increased promotions to market Rota, Tinian and Saipan as a preferred destination for Korean visitors.

Arrivals from China dipped 4 percent compared to August 2017 to 21,681 visitors, due in part to fewer seasonal flights this summer compared with last August. The negative effects of the Phuket boat accident and natural disasters in competing tropical destinations continue to influence Chinese travel patterns. Meanwhile, the continued devaluation of the yean has played a factor in determining consumer travel trends. MVA has launched joint promotional campaigns with all travel partners to help introduce new travel packages for the China market. The Marianas will continue to see the steady growth of Chinese tourists.