October 2012 visitor arrivals to the Northern Mariana Islands were up 8 percent compared to October 2011, marking a full year of consistent monthly growth in visitors to the islands. According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota registered 26,630 visitors in October compared to 24,693 in October 2011.
Arrivals from Japan reached 9,496 visitors in October, 9 percent higher than October last year, as the Japan market continues to stabilize. Without the benefit of charter flights supplementing airlift out of Japan, the increase was due primarily due to strong travel agency sales with their new brochures issued in October.
Arrivals from Korea rose 3 percent percent to 8,103 visitors. The supply of air seats to the NMI out of the Korea market is projected to continue to increase in the final quarter of the year, with Asiana Airlines boosting its Busan-Saipan service from two to four flights a week beginning Nov. 20 and ensuring continued strong growth in Korean arrivals through the end of the year.
Arrivals from China continued a consistent double-digit increase, jumping another 34 percent in October to 6,886 visitors due to China's “Super Golden Week” in October. Chinese tourists had more time to travel abroad due to the combination of the Mid-Autumn Festival and China National Day, which created an eight-day holiday in October. In addition to six weekly flights from Shanghai and Guangzhou, three weekly flights from Beijing launched Nov. 15, which will ensure continued extraordinary growth out of the China market for the remainder of the year.
Meanwhile, arrivals were down 4 percent from Russia to 468 in August. Bi-weekly charter flights by AviaCharter DV commenced from Vladivostok on Oct. 26 and will have a significant positive impact on arrivals from the Russia market over the next several months. (MVA)