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Last updateFri, 23 Aug 2019 12am

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    Thursday, August 22, 2019-4:14:54A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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MVA board nominee says NMI tourism competing with cruise lines

THE Commonwealth has a new competitor for Chinese tourists — cruise lines, Marianas Visitor Authority board nominee Thomas Liu said.

Thomas Liu

At a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations on his nomination, Liu said a lot of tourists from China are now patronizing international cruise lines.

“We’re now competing against cruise lines,” he told the senators. “So we have to further enhance our destination to be able to compete.”

Liu also answered questions from Sen. Vinnie Sablan about the status of the Saipan Global Hotel project in San Roque.

The chief executive officer of Saipan Globe International, Liu said the developers will bring in pre-built 600 hotel rooms that will be assembled when they arrive here. He expects the new hotel to open in San Roque by middle of next year.

Liu’s nomination received endorsements at the public hearing.

Press Secretary Bautista testified on behalf of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios.

Bautista said Liu, as a hotel manager and tourism executive, “brings years of tourism and hospitality experience from all over the Asia-Pacific region from his time in Hawaii to Hong Kong and mainland China, to Korea, to Taiwan, to Guam and the Northern Marianas.”

He said Liu “understands that not just the Commonwealth but the whole world is growing and rapidly changing to keep up with the demands of increased globalization and an up-and-down economy.”

Liu joins the governor and the lt. governor in a shared belief that the CNMI needs a proactive and innovative approach to managing the islands’ tourism industry, Bautista added.

“Governor Torres and Lt. Gov. Palacios place their full trust and confidence in Mr. Liu as a director on the MVA board,” Bautista said.

MVA vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said Liu can be a “huge asset to the MVA board.”