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    Sunday, May 19, 2019-8:53:50A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Hotel association official not happy with Concepcion’s departure from MVA

CHRIS Concepcion’s resignation as Marianas Visitors Authority managing director comes at a crucial time for the tourism industry which is still recovering from typhoon devastation, Hotel Association of Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh said.

Concepcion, who was hired three years ago, announced his resignation on Tuesday during a meeting of the MVA board of which Cavanagh is the vice chair.

Gloria Cavanagh

“I worry whether there would be a change of paths in the way that MVA has been performing,” she said.

HANMI is “very satisfied” with Concepcion’s overall professionalism and understanding of marketing a destination, she added.

MVA under Concepcion’s leadership “improved the branding of the Marianas,” she said.

“He was always focused on destination enhancement and investing in our product in order to keep up with the competition.”

Under Concepcion’s leadership, MVA earned international sports recognition through Ironman 70.3 and the Saipan Marathon which earned a certification from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, Cavanagh said.

“We have had participants from all over the world. Through his relationship with Delta, Chris was also instrumental in the negotiations with Skymark which will provide direct flights from Japan starting this summer.”

As for the certification program for tour guides and operators, Cavanagh said “it has been on the statute books for many years and it took the leadership of Chris Concepcion to bring it to fruition. This program ensures the safety of our guests — it also ensures that accurate information about our destination is given to our visitors.”

As MVA vice chair, Cavanagh said she was saddened by Concepcion’s resignation.

“Chris has always been very easy to speak to. His management skills help ensure that things are being done right. He is passionate about our destination. He brought many ideas that brought our destination into the modern world. He is always willing to think outside the box.”

In addition, Cavanagh said Concepcion protected the integrity of MVA’s funding. “He knows that MVA needs money to make money for the CNMI.”

Cavanagh hopes that Concepcion’s successor would continue and pursue the MVA projects and programs now in place.