Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 22 May 2019 12am

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    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-5:28:37P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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MVA to ‘reintroduce’ Marianas to tourism markets

THE Marianas Visitors Authority, which is anticipating a $1.4 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year, will “reintroduce” the Marianas to its primary tourism markets — South Korea, China, and Japan.

“We need to show that our destination has now recovered from the typhoon,” MVA board vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said.

She said Typhoon Yutu, which hit Saipan and Tinian in October, resulted in flight cancellations, temporary hotel closures and a significant reduction in hotel occupancy tax collections.

Due to the budget shortfall, MVA’s projected revenue for fiscal year 2019 has been reduced from $15.8 million to $14.6 million.

Cavanagh said MVA will have to seek support from its industry partners.

The  chair of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cavanagh said HANMI will continue to help  defray some of the costs of MVA’s promotion programs.

On Rota where the MVA board met recently, Cavanagh said they assessed ongoing projects including the renovation of the railings at the Bird Sanctuary, the Rota destination sign at Tatgua Curve, and the observation deck at Taga Stone Quarry.

Due to the lack of manpower and the increase in the cost of  construction materials, “everything is slow,” she said, referring to the progress of the projects.

She said Rota is “beautiful and absolutely gorgeous,” but one of its major challenges is the lack of direct flights.

However, Rota can still use MVA’s travel incentives  for charter flights, she added.

In Jan. 2019, MVA said arrivals to  Saipan, Tinian and Rota dropped by 33 percent compared to the 55,249 visitors in Jan. 2018.

Japan arrivals posted an 83 percent drop in Jan. 2019; China was down by 4 percent; and Korea, the CNMI’s main market, was 49 percent lower.