MVA holds annual Marianas seminars in Japan

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(MVA) — The Marianas Visitors Authority presented its annual Marianas Seminar & Workshop series in Japan last week, touting direct, daily service by Skymark Airlines in a bid to woo Japanese travelers at a time when tourism is declining globally due to Covid-19.

The seminars promoted the Marianas to travel trade representatives and introduced new marketing plans, including upcoming campaigns and events. This year’s seminars were attended by 42 participants in Osaka on Feb. 25, 35 participants in Nagoya on Feb. 26, and 87 participants in Tokyo on Feb. 28.

The seminars also play a critical role in informing the market of new attractions, activities, dining options and hotel properties in the Marianas and provide an opportunity for MVA members to conduct one-on-one meetings with key travel partners in Japan.

In her welcoming remarks, MVA Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo highlighted several benefits of travelling to the Marianas, including year-round warm weather, numerous sports activities, and the destination’s Covid-19-free status.

Marianas Visitors Authority and Marianas tourism partners promote the destination to travel trade representatives at the Marianas Seminar & Workshop on Feb. 28, 2020, in Tokyo.  Additional seminars were held in Osaka and Nagoya.  MVA photo

“At this time, perhaps most importantly, we do not have any confirmed or suspected reports of the novel coronavirus in the Marianas,” Iakopo assured attendees. “This is also an important consideration for the travelling public at this time, and we all hope and pray for the quick end of this outbreak.”

Tourism partners also participating in the seminars were: Aqua Resort Club; Asiana Airlines; E Land Group, including Kensington Hotel Saipan and Pacific Islands Club Saipan; Grandvrio Resort Saipan; Hyatt Regency Saipan; Imperial Pacific International; LaoLao Bay Golf & Resort; Paupau Tours; Pacific Development Inc.; Saipan In-Vitro Fertilization; Skymark Airlines; Tan Holdings Corp. including Century Hotel, Fiesta Resort & Spa, and Kanoa Resort; T Galleria Saipan by DFS; and Furosato Restaurant..

On Feb. 27, MVA board vice chairwoman Gloria Cavanagh, board member Nick Nishikawa, Iakopo, and representatives of MVA’s Japan representative office made sales calls to JTB, Skymark and H.I.S. to thank the companies for their continued support of the Marianas and to discuss how to tackle the current tourism challenge.

Along with the seminar and workshop, MVA published a six-page special issue in the Feb. 24 edition of Wing Travel Weekly, one of the leading travel trade newspapers in Japan. The publication’s circulation is 8,900 copies, and it is also distributed to travel industry members online.

The special issue covered this year’s MVA’s marketing strategy, with emphasis on “Sports Islands: The Marianas” and Skymark’s direct services from Tokyo to Saipan. Extra copies were distributed to Marianas Seminar & Workshop 2020 participants and will be used in upcoming B2B promotional and marketing programs.

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