As the closest U.S. destination to Japan, the Northern Mariana Islands joined forces with Brand USA at last month's Japan Association of Travel Agents World Travel Fair 2012 in Tokyo.
The Marianas Visitors Authority, which participates annually in the travel fair, joined other U.S. destinations under the Brand USA umbrella on Sept. 21-23, 2012, with positive results.
“By having our booth physically situated with Brand USA this year and by coordinating with them, the MVA's overall impact and outreach to travel fair attendees was greater,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “We look forward to the new promotional opportunities this partnership has opened up.”
The MVA joined the Brand USA signing ceremony launching “Japan-U.S. Tourism Exchange Year,” aimed at stimulating general travel demand from Japan to the United States with activities scheduled from September 2012 to August 2013, involving major Japanese travel wholesalers and agents with major airlines flying in and out of Japan to the United States. The MVA has formally endorsed the proposed activities.
The Northern Marianas also garnered stage time on the Brand USA stage by featuring a magic show by SandCastle Saipan and providing Saipan-da! backpacks for a charitable auction.
Other activities organized by Brand USA were a VIP reception at the U.S. Embassy on Sept. 20 and a happy-hour reception for 200 travel trade and media representatives on Sept. 21. Brand USA has spent over $5 million in the last three months advertising the launch of new programs to increase travel between Japan and the U.S.
The JATA World Travel Fair is the largest annual travel fair in Asia, attracting 125,989 attendees this year, a 7-percent increase over last year's. (PR)