The Marianas Visitors Authority wrapped up its annual summer Happy Children in Paradise campaign on Sept. 30, 2013, making Saipan-da backpacks available to nearly 13,000 children over three months.
The campaign provides Saipan-da 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 distributed coupons for 12,824 backpacks during summer, an 11-percent increase over the same period last year.
“When visitors talk about Saipan-da, they’re also talking about Saipan,” said MVA marketing manager Bruce Bateman. “Ninety-five percent of international flights to the Northern Marianas fly to Saipan, and from there visitors can travel to Tinian and Rota. Saipan-da is a popular and effective way to keep our destination on people’s minds…and in their hands.”
“Kids from all countries love Saipanda and the smiles on their faces mean their parents are happy too. Happy visitors are repeat visitors.”
Participating hotels distributed coupons to qualified guests during the period. The coupons were redeemable at the DFS Galleria Saipan-da Corner, where a live action Saipan-da greeted guests and was available for picture taking.
The name Saipan-da 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)