July 2012 visitor arrivals to the Northern Mariana Islands were up 19 percent compared to July 2011, according to the Marianas Visitors Authority yesterday.
In a statement, MVA said that visitor arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota totaled 32,478 in July compared to 27,203 in July 2011. Overall, visitor arrivals are up 14 percent so far this fiscal year to 318,778 visitors.
Arrivals from Japan reached 10,988 visitors in July, 8 percent higher than July last year, as the Japan market continues to stabilize. Delta Air Lines launched an additional four weekly flights from Narita on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday beginning July 14 and continuing through Sept. 24. Asiana Airlines began operating daily flights from Osaka on July 16 and continuing through Sept. 3. These additional flights significantly boosted the number of Japanese visitors to the Northern Marianas during the peak summer season versus last year.
Arrivals from Korea posted a sixth consecutive month of double-digit increases, leaping 27 percent to 11,391 visitors. Asiana Airlines relaunched a second weekly service from Busan to Saipan on June 13, which had been suspended since June last year due to lack of available aircraft. 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. So far this fiscal year, visitor arrivals from Korea are up 18 percent to 105,551 compared to the same period last year.
Arrivals from China have shown consistent growth each month this year compared to last year, jumping a phenomenal 50 percent in June to 7,480 visitors. So far this fiscal year, the Northern Marianas has received 78 percent more visitors from China as the same period last year due to the launch of new flights, including six weekly flights from Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Continuous significant growth in Chinese arrivals is projected through October thanks to China's Summer and Autumn National Day holidays, as well as major media and travel agent promotions launched by the MVA's new China office.
Meanwhile, arrivals were down 4 percent from Russia to 430 in June. Arrivals from Russia have increased 13 percent so far this fiscal year, compared to last.
Arrivals were down in July from Guam (down 11 percent to 1,231), the United States (down 5 percent to 549), and Hong Kong (down 82 percent to 62), but higher from the Philippines (up 27 percent to 41), and Other Areas (up 13 percent to 216). (MVA)