Visitor arrivals to the CNMI last month were up 30 percent compared to June 2009, with increases from all primary and secondary markets mainly because last year's same month arrivals were hit hard by the H1N1 swine flu virus.
According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota registered 28,372 visitors last month compared to 21,803 in June 2009.
The Commonwealth's primary market of Japan registered 21-percent growth in arrivals in June at 13,451 visitors, driven by the reinstatement of daily flights from Nagoya.
In addition, nearly 600 Japanese visited the CNMI in June under the auspices of the Tokai Junior Chamber of Commerce. Further growth in arrivals from Japan is projected in July when daily flights from Osaka are also reinstated.
“While we are extremely pleased with the summer recovery in arrivals from Japan, serious concerns remain about the sustainability of both the Nagoya and Osaka flights after October. If the flights are suspended as feared, the drop in airlift from October would once again devastate Japanese arrivals to the CNMI,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “It's an urgent priority of the MVA to stabilize our airlift from the key market of Japan to prevent see-sawing arrivals as flights are suspended or reinstated depending on seasonality.”
Arrivals from Korea registered an even stronger 33-percent growth in June 2010 over the previous year, registering 8,913 visitors. This marks the seventh consecutive month of double digit increases from this primary tourism market. Arrivals included over 500 Koreans making MICE-Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions-visits to the Northern Marianas stimulated by MVA's MICE support program.
The secondary market of China saw 2,298 arrivals in June 2010, a whopping 614-percent increase over the same month last year.
The increase is largely attributed to continued twice-a-week charter flights from Shanghai. Charter flights from Guangzhou are scheduled to resume in July 2010. MVA said June 2009 had a low base arrival, as charter flights from Shanghai and Guanzhou were suspended.
Meanwhile, the secondary market of Russia posted its first gain this fiscal year with 1 percent growth to 485 arrivals. Arrivals from the United States were also up 21 percent to 1,035. (MVA)