China Eastern Airlines touched down earlier than its scheduled arrival at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport Friday morning with 295 passengers that included a bevy of media representatives, here to check out what the island can offer.
Century Tours vice president Alex Stutely told Saipan Tribune that the media group will tour Saipan as a separate group from the other passengers who are mostly couples and some families with their children. Most are first-timers to the CNMI.
Among the areas the media familiarization team wants to see are the various hotels, shops, and island activities.
Stutely said the 22 media representatives from China were recognized during a news briefing Friday noon at Kanoa Resort where each of them was given the opportunity to meet and ask questions with officials of the Marianas Visitors Authority, representatives of the various hotels, and officials from the Century Tours, which charters the flight.
The media group included Pan Zi Fei and Quan Wei from BTV; Bao Li and Dong Xiao Gang of CCTV-2; Hou Li Bin of 163.com; Zhou Bo Hai of Sohu.com; Liu Feng of Beijing Youth newspaper; Li Zhan of Traveler Weekly; Zhang Jia Qian of Beijing Evening Newspaper; Wang Li Bin of Xinhua News; Gao Lei of Beijing Radio; Zeng Xiao Dan and Niu Yue of Ctrip; Liu Xiang Hui, Fan Xue Wen, and Han Xiao of Jilin TV Station; Shang Yin and Guan Zhu Man of Harbin Radio; Kong Xiang Guang and Qiao Wei of Follow Me Harbin TV Station; Liu Yan of Photographic Travel; and Huang Jing of Century Tours.
Besides the Q&A portion, the Chinese media group was also presented videos about the island and an overview of Century Tours and its plan to bring in more Chinese tourists to Saipan.
Both groups—media and tourists—are scheduled to depart Saipan on Thursday while the second flight of China Eastern was expected yesterday.
Besides China Eastern, Century Tours also charters direct flights from Shanghai and Guangzhou using Sichuan Airlines.
The charter flights from Beijing will fly three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These flights will bring in about 900 tourists from China each week.