CNMI Rebranding Itself For Japanese Tourism Market

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MVA works to push ‘Flower Islands,’ ‘Sports Islands’ image

By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 6, 2015) – The Northern Marianas is working on rebranding itself as a destination in Japan.

MVA Managing Director Perry Tenorio said, "[We have] a large number of marketing programs in the Japan market in conjunction with the CNMI’s key travel agent partners as well as airline partners, online channels, media partners, and brand partners."

He said the key ongoing programs include re-branding the CNMI in Japan as the "Flower Islands" and "Sports Islands."

MVA is also targeting new low-cost carriers to launch service to the islands.

Tenorio said they are also launching promotions including TV commercials to promote this new branding in Japan.

He said they are working "to develop more local events like another night market or the Flower Island developments which will appeal to the Japan market, as well as other markets."

He added that they are also looking at launching new training/educational programs for Japanese travel agents to emphasize the new hotel developments coming into the pipeline.

The islands for several years now have been hosting a number of sports activities, including XTERRA Saipan and Tagaman which usually attract a big contingent of Japanese participants.

There is a rising interest as well in bike races and golf tournaments.

Moreover, Tenorio said that they will continue to promote the islands as a world class destination.

"The role of MVA is to promote the CNMI as a world class destination in all our overseas markets," said Tenorio.

The CNMI has been facing declining tourist arrivals from Japan.

In 2014, based on available tourism data, from January to November 2014, there were 99,784 Japanese visitors to the islands as compared to 122,596 Koreans and 157,235 Chinese tourists.

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