Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 Oct 2019 12am







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-9:11:22A.M.






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MVA: May arrivals down 17%

(MVA) — According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to Saipan, Tinian and Rota reached 38,262 visitors in May 2019 compared to 46,093 in May 2018, a 17 percent decrease.

Korea had another month of steady recovery since Super Typhoon Yutu, posting 17,750 visitor arrivals and retaining its position as the top-performing source market for the Marianas. However, due to the downsizing of Asiana Airlines’ aircraft and the decreased frequency of three air services — T’way Air’s and Jeju Air’s night service from Incheon and Busan — arrivals from Korea were 20 percent lower overall compared to May 2018.

“While all flights have resumed since Super Typhoon Yutu, we are still seeing major challenges in each of our sources markets,” said MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo. “The important point is to ensure there is sufficient funding available for MVA to continue to strategically promote and market the destination. Tourism is the Marianas’ primary economic driver. We are hopeful that revenue will improve.”

Arrivals from China were 13 percent off last year’s mark at 16,728 visitors in May. The market is facing a rising RMB-USD exchange rate as a result of U.S.-China tensions, which is also making tourists more hesitant to travel to U.S. destinations and increasing pressure on main charter flight operators to book tourists for the Marianas.

MVA is keeping its pulse on the situation through regular communication with key travel industry representatives, and several promotional activities in May aimed to counter the downturn in arrivals.

A media familiarization tour focusing on the Taste of The Marianas International Food Festival & Beer Garden and participation in one of the most influential tourism events in China — Internationale Tourismus-Börse Shanghai — as well as 2019 Shandong (Jinan) Tourism Expo and road shows organized by other tourism partners.

Japan posted 671 visitors for the month, 46 percent lower than May 2018 when daily direct flights operated between Narita and Saipan.