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    Friday, October 18, 2019-10:23:37A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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MVA will not shut down offshore offices, says board vice chair

ALTHOUGH the Marianas Visitors Authority owes its offshore offices about $1.7 million, it will not shut down its marketing and promotion outlets, MVA board vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said on Monday.

“Once you close the offshore offices and once you stop marketing the destination then you would lose those markets, and it’s going to cost us 10 times more to try to get them back,” she added.

Click to enlarge
Marianas Visitors Authority board vice chair Gloria Cavanagh and MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo confer prior to the board meeting on Monday.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

She said MVA wants to “to see the light out of the austerity measures anytime soon,” referring to the $4 million in hotel occupancy tax payments that the central government has yet to remit to the tourism agency.

For June, the central government remitted about $250,000 in hotel occupancy tax collections from December 2018.

“We need to do more promotions,” Cavanagh said.

MVA’s offshore offices are in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan.

In May, the MVA board approved the recommendation of MVA’s management to close down its promotions office in Russia.

Cavanagh, the general manager of the Pacific Islands Club and the chair of the Hotel Association of Northern Marianas Islands, said the number of Russian visitors did not even reach a hundred each month.

“We wanted to keep it alive because we still had a lot of repeat guests from Russia, but because of the austerity measures MVA has to make some tough choices,” she said.