The Micronesian island of Saipan will welcome its first integrated resort, Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel Saipan, this year, a development expected to raise the destination's appeal for business events.
The 140,000m2 property, built in the Garapan district, will feature 344 rooms and suites, as well as 15 deluxe villas. The property will also boast an 800m2 ballroom, as well as a dedicated on-site hospitality team providing assistance in arranging conferences, meetings, seminars and weddings. There will also be extensive casino, F&B and entertainment facilities.
Both the resort’s developer Imperial Pacific International Holdings and the island’s tourism authority anticipate that the complex will significantly raise the profile of the destination among business event players.
Chris Concepcion, managing director of the Marianas Visitors Authority, believes the project will underline Saipan’s natural attractions and ability to host major business events.
"We feel the Marianas, and Saipan in particular, is a perfect place to host MICE groups because we offer many venues, activities and attractions that cater to businesses and organisations looking for a place that offers their employees an environment conducive for learning, as well as a place to unwind and relax after a hectic day of training, seminars and workshops,” he said.
“At present, the island is incapable of handling such large groups in terms of facilities and manpower, (but with the integrated resort) there is an opportunity for Saipan to meet the need of various tourism markets – including the MICE sector and special events,” said Ringo Yeung, assistant vice president marketing and communications division, Imperial Pacific International Holdings.
Yeung added: “We want to work with the government to try to expand this opportunity. We believe we can make the island a leading global destination for meetings by bringing together the island's natural beauty (and complement it) with nightlife, luxury accommodation and various forms of entertainment including gaming and live shows.”
Saipan benefits from favourable visa regulations for Asian nationals, with citizens of China eligible for a 45-day visa-free entry. As a result, a number of cities in China have started direct flights that can reach the island in about five hours.