Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am

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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-11:47:42A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Governor commends MVA

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday praised the Marianas Visitors Authority for “aggressively” promoting the CNMI in its tourism markets despite funding constraints.

He acknowledged the delay in the remittance of the hotel occupancy tax collections to MVA.

He noted that prior to Typhoon Yutu, which hit Saipan and Tinian a year ago, there was no delay in the release of allotments for MVA and other government departments and agencies.

“We’re in a better financial situation today than we were immediately after Typhoon Yutu, and we want to continue making sure that we give MVA and all the departments their funding allotments,” the governor told Variety.

MVA board vice chairwoman Gloria Cavanagh said their budget was reduced to $14 million from $15.8 million after Typhoon Yutu.

But the $14 million was further reduced to $12 million based on the actual collection of hotel occupancy taxes, she added.

As of November this year, Cavanagh said only 52 percent of the $12 million or about $6.2 million had been received by MVA, adding that the central government has not yet remitted $5.7 million.

“This budget cut has forced MVA to cut marketing programs such as consumer and trade shows and cooperative programs with partners in our tourism markets,” she said.

She said they have closed the MVA marketing office in Russia, canceled signature events, and delayed destination enhancement projects and payment to vendors, including to off-shore marketing offices.