The recovering tourism industry has another positive effect in the operations of the Marianas Visitors Authority, with newly re-elected chair Marian Aldan-Pierce happily announcing that the tourism body is now current with local and offshore vendors,
“I am pleased to report that this fiscal year, the MVA was able to catch up on our long outstanding liabilities to our local and offshore vendors, who are very happy, of course. The MVA is now current on our vendors’ accounts, and we will work to keep current next year, as well,” she said during her recent confirmation hearing at the Senate.
Aldan-Pierce, on behalf of the MVA board, gave thanks to the Department of Finance, Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson, and Finance staff for their support in the timely remittance of funds to the MVA.
Aside from its annual budget, MVA’s finances were also buoyed beginning last fiscal year by the hotel tax.
As recently as 2010, the MVA owed $2 million to travel and tourism agencies in Japan, Korea, Russia, and China as well as in the CNMI.
The situation was so desperate that MVA managing director Perry Tenorio asked the help of lawmakers to find money to pay off MVA’s outstanding debt.
Aldan-Pierce also invited members of the Legislature to join MVA in its promotional campaign in key overseas markets.
“In order to truly appreciate the mandate of MVA and what we are faced with whenever we promote overseas, we against extend the invitation we gave members of the Legislature earlier this year to please join us when we attend travel fairs in our various markets. We were joined by a couple of House members on our last trip to China and I believe their perception of what China is like was totally blown out of the water. Plus it made them realize how tough it is to market our island destinations when we compete with countries like the U.S., Australia, Europe, etc.”