Marianas among Top 10 semi-guided destinations

File photo of tourists interact with residents at the International Festival of Cultures in September 2016. The Marianas is among the Top 10 favorite destinations for Chinese tourists taking semi-guided tours, according to Tuniu, one of the top online travel agencies in China. (MVA)

The Marianas is among the Top 10 favorite destinations for Chinese tourists taking semi-guided tours, according to Tuniu, one of the top online travel agencies in China.

In its Online Outbound Tourism Consumption Report for the first half of 2018, Tuniu noted that Saipan and the Marianas are ranked as the eighth most popular semi-guided travel destinations, beating all our competitors in Micronesia and the Pacific. In descending order, the countries named were Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Saipan, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka.

Visitors from China comprise nearly 40 percent of the 507,116 total visitors that have travelled to the Marianas so far this fiscal year, according to the Marianas Visitors Authority.

“China is the second largest source market for Marianas tourism, second only to South Korea, and a critical part of our tourism economy,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “The conditional parole program for Chinese tourism, our proximity to China, and the increasing frequency of direct flights have all contributed to this growth.”

The average Chinese visitors spends at least three nights in the Marianas, with an average of most self-guided tours being two days.

The general travel trends for Chinese residents continue to change and an increase in outbound travel is noticeable, according to the report. The number of outbound Chinese tourists has grown 15 percent in 2018 compared to the same period last year, reaching 71,310,000 tourists to date. (MVA)

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