The Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) was at the recently concluded CITM 2017 to position the Northern Mariana Islands as a multi-faceted destination, with activities and attractions appealing not only to the beach-loving crowd, but also to culture vultures and sports fanatics.
MVA’s deputy managing director Judy Torres said in FY2017 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017), the destination saw an 11 per cent year-on-year increase in Chinese arrivals to 229,000.
“We did not expect to see such results at the beginning of the financial year, but we gained additional air services through the year, which helped,” she remarked.
Now, Saipan enjoys connections from Hangzhou (Beijing Capital Airlines), Shanghai and Guangzhou (Sichuan Airlines) and Beijing (China Eastern Airlines).
Encouraged by the success it has seen in China, MVA is intensifying efforts in the marketplace. And here at CITM 2017, it will play up on a series of sports events coming up in Saipan, namely the Hell of the Marianas, Saipan Marathon, Ironman 70.3 Saipan and so on.
Other events MVA is hoping to bring attention to include the Annual Tinian Hot Paper Festival, Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden and Saipan International Fishing Tournament.
More than just hotels and sightseeing, MVA officers told TTG Asia that the destination offers opportunities for tourists to discover the local culture, for example at the night market in downtown Garapan.
“There are local food, drinks, handicraft and even local cultural performances,” Torres shared.
With December 12 (a day that sees massive shopping discounts being offered across China) round the corner, MVA is hoping to cooperate with its partners in China to push out special packages for honeymooners and families.