The administration of Gov. Eloy S. Inos has proclaimed May as “Tourism Month” to celebrate the importance of the tourism industry in the Commonwealth.
According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, the tourism industry contributed $444 million in direct impact and more than $600 million in indirect impact to the CNMI’s economy in fiscal year 2014 alone.
This year’s monthlong Tourism Month will carry the theme “Tourism is everybody’s business.”
Lt. Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, who presided over the proclamation signing on Wednesday at the Office of the Governor’s conference room, urged the community to remain “polite and courteous” to tourists visiting the CNMI.
“Like what was stated before, tourism is everybody’s business, and not just the MVA’s,” Torres said.
The proclamation states that tourism provides “opportunities for employment, economic prosperity, international trade, and cross-cultural understanding.”
In January, arrivals to the Commonwealth reached their highest level in 10 years at 45,688 visitors, while hotel occupancy rates reached an all-time record high in February.
Overall, in fiscal year 2015, a 13.3-percent increase in arrival is projected, largely based on the addition of a new air service from South Korea.
In addition to being the main economic driver and largest private sector employer in the CNMI, the tourism industry provides numerous other benefits to residents, the proclamation reads.
It said: “Tourism balances the need to preserve a healthy environment with the need for economic development and encourages the community to maintain the beauty and tranquility of our home.”