One of the Marianas Visitors Authority's longest-standing promotional campaigns turns 13 this year, as Happy Children in Paradise prepares for its annual summer launch on Monday, July 1.
The campaign provides Saipanda backpacks to all visiting children ages 11 and younger as a souvenir of their visit to the Northern Mariana Islands during the summer months and at Christmas time. The MVA expects to give away approximately 11,000 of the 13th anniversary backpacks to happy kids this year.
“The campaign was launched to familiarize children and their families with the Saipan name, and it is working,” said MVA marketing manager Bruce Bateman. “Saipanda has become a household name in Japan and is widely known in Korea, as well. He even receives his own invitation to events in Japan! The kids, and those young at heart, seem to love the Saipanda character and want one of the backpacks.”
The summer campaign will run though Sept. 30, 2012. Participating hotels will distribute coupons to qualified guests during the period. The coupons will be redeemable at the DFS Galleria Saipan Corner, where a live action Saipanda will greet guests and be available for picture taking.
The name Saipanda is a triple play on words in English and Japanese: “sai” means rhinoceros, the panda bear, and the destination name Saipan. The whole word Saipan-da means “Saipan is it!” in Japanese, or “Saipan's the place to be!” (MVA)