CNMI TOURISM AGENCY TARGETS SOUTH KOREA MARKET

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By Gemma Q. Casas

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Dec. 27) - The Marianas Visitors Authority signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday with Samsung Corp. that will promote the islands in South Korea, the local tourism industry’s second major market.

MVA Executive Director Perry Tenorio said Samsung, one of the largest private companies in South Korea, will join the CNMI in a year-long promotional campaign through its Samsung Credit Card program.

Tenorio said there are 10,000 Samsung cardholders who will vie for free trips, including hotel accommodations, to Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

"Samsung Corp. and MVA will do a tie-up promotion. Through their membership of approximately 10,000 cardholders we will be able to promote the CNMI there (South Korea). In return, we will provide plane tickets to the winners," said Tenorio.

He said the tickets will be provided by Asiana Airlines at discounted prices.

"Beyond our advertising program, this is one way to promote our islands -- tie-up with big corporations that have, if you will, a captured market already that we can expose our products to," he told Variety in an interview.

Those who signed the agreement on behalf of Samsung were Kim Bong Sun, general manager and Park Seon Woo, manager.

Asiana Airlines Saipan office general manager Kim, Kwang Joon, represented the carrier while Tenorio and MVA Chairman Jerry Tan represented the CNMI government in the signing of the agreement.

Under the agreement, Samsung will include the Northern Marianas in its advertisements in magazines, its homepage, tour guidebooks, newsletters and other media.

Through Samsung’s World Privilege Service programs, at least 20 winners will be selected to visit the Northern Marianas free of charge for at least three nights.

"Samsung Card will also advertise the Marianas directly to their cardholder members which has approximately 9.5 million (global) members," MVA said in a statement.

Arrivals from South Korea continues to show positive growth although only one international airline provides direct flight service between Saipan and the Asian country

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