Fourteen media and travel trade reps spent the better part of a week in the Northern Mariana Islands exploring the tropical allure of Saipan and Rota.
The familiarization tour group arrived on Saipan on Sept. 3, 2012, for a fact-finding visit. The group included representatives of Shanghai CYTS Tours Corp., CITS Group Shanghai Co., Shanghai Times, Elite Traveler, Traveler Celebrity, Century Tours, Shanghai CTRIP Intl Travel Service, Shanghai Greenment, Tourism Solutions Delivery and travel blogspots weibo.com/ybb2010, ivmama.com (Joyu), ctrip.com, blog.sina.com.cn/annieyu2010, and tuniu.com.
“This FAM tour from our China market is the first of hopefully many to be organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority's new China office, and we expect big results in terms of market growth,” said MVA marketing manager Bruce Bateman. “For example, just one of the bloggers who came has 180,000 followers on Sina Weibo. That's a tremendous outreach opportunity to gain the attention of potential travelers.”
Sina Weibo is China's most popular microblogging website and is similar to Twitter or Facebook but geared for the Chinese marketplace.
While on Saipan, the group visited Managaha, Laolao Bay Golf Resort, DFS Galleria, and the Fiesta Resort & Spa dinner show. They also did hotel inspections of Pacific Islands Club Saipan and Hyatt Regency Saipan, with special emphasis on wedding amenities. While on Saipan, they also squeezed in an island tour and an all-terrain vehicle tour.
On Sept. 5, the group traveled to Rota, where they had an island tour and also conducted a hotel inspection.
The group lodged at Fiesta Resort and Rota Resort & Country Club during their visit. (MVA)