The Lunar New Year Countdown at Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan was a thundering success, with over 300 tourists and a smattering of island residents greeting the Year of the Wooden Horse at the stroke of midnight on Friday, Jan. 31.
Century Tours marketing manager Ed Arriola said he and other organizers were very pleased with the more-than-expected turnout.
“Tourists expressed how wonderful it was to celebrate their most important holiday while here so many thousands of miles from home. It’s kind of like us visiting their country on Dec. 25 and being able to enjoy a Christmas dinner with a tree. This party was Century Tours’ way of saying ‘so many of you traveled so far from home, but yet you’re appreciated and comfortable.’”
Arriola added that the Lunar New Year Countdown was such a great experience that many tourists volunteered to invite their friends back home to also come and visit Saipan.
“That’s one important aspect of what tourism should be, making our guests comfortable and giving them a sense of security and familiarity. Many exclaimed how they want to bring more friends and family members to Saipan later this August and again in January 2015.”
After last year’s low-key Lunar New Year celebration, Century Tours decided to shake things up a bit this year.
“Last year we had a small more intimate event at Fiesta for our Chinese guests. This year our company CEO and president Willie and Jerry Tan spoke to Alex Stutely [Century Tours vice president] and wanted our team to do something that our guests deserved. This called for more seats, more lights, more fireworks, and more entertainment; the party last Thursday was a true representation and display of how the Chinese celebrate their New Year; it was big, bold, and festive!”
Arriola also applauded the hard work of Century Tours staff as well as Fiesta Resort employees for making the event a success.
Fiesta Resort & Spa F&B director Das Krishnan confirmed that 300 tourists aboard two Dynamic Airways flights attended the countdown party. Some 20 local residents and some Russian tourists also attended the event.
He said they prepared an island-style barbecue buffet for the party that started at 7pm on Thursday night, Jan. 30. The buffet spread included lobster, roast pig, and a noodle station.
Violinist David Chen, island reggae musical group Tasi & Aliis, and Polynesian dancers helped entertain the guests. A Zumba and kung fu demonstrations were also part of the program.
As the seconds of the Year of the Water Snake wound down, Fiesta Resort staff lit $3,000 worth of fireworks and the evening sky above Garapan exploded in bright luminescent hues.
Arriola said Century Tours is already looking forward to hosting a bigger and better Lunar New Year countdown in 2015 as well as planning for the Mid-Autumn Festival later in 2014.
“We plan to do this again next year, but on a larger scale,” he said.