Majority of tourists in the CNMI were satisfied overall with their visit doing the current fiscal year, according to the Marianas Visitors Authority’s reinstated exit survey.
Some of the highlights of the exit survey, which MVA reinstated this year, is that most tourists were satisfied with the Commonwealth’s beaches (86/100) and scenery/parks (85/100).
Visitors, meanwhile, were least satisfied with the variety of tours and activities available at night and the availability of signs and directions.
The exit survey also noted that 85 percent of respondents expressed that they want to visit the CNMI again and that they would recommend the destination to others.
Of the eight most frequently mentioned tours visitors are interested in, half involved activities that engage local culture. Open market/night markets were the No. 1 mentioned activity they would like to see more of.
Sixty-five percent of visitors claimed to travel outside of their home country at least once a year or more, and 82 percent of those surveyed had never visited the NMI before. Saipan was also the primary destination for 80 percent of trips within the NMI.
Around 80 percent of visitors came for pleasure/vacation, while almost 10 percent of visitors came to honeymoon. The biggest motivating travel factors were nature-related: 75 percent came for tropical climate/sea/beach; 39 percent came for snorkeling/water sports, and 21 percent came for nature activities.
The most frequented optional tours were Managaha (79 percent), snorkeling (59 percent), island tour (32 percent), and jungle tour (32 percent). Water sports on the beach, scuba diving, and Managaha tour received the highest satisfaction ratings of 90 percent.
Almost 40 percent of travel arrangements to the CNMI were made individually through the Internet, and over half of the visitors came to the CNMI with their spouse. The most frequently identified source (31 percent) to finding about the CNMI was the recommendation of friends and family, while 40 percent of visitors had also referenced travel agencies or travel guidebooks.
“Although visitor arrivals have been steadily increasing over the last several fiscal years and continue to increase this year, there is still much work to be done,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “The results of this exit survey will be of assistance in this regard.”
Regarding hotel stays, people were overall satisfied with their hotels, with no satisfaction score lower than 75/100. In general, the most satisfactory element of the hotel was the hotel staff with a rating of 85/100. The least satisfactory element was the hotel facilities (75/100). Almost 40 percent of visitors dined most often at a hotel. More than half had a tour guide during at least part of their stay, and visitors were generally satisfied with their tour guides, especially the pace of communication (88/100). A majority of pre-paid expenses were for hotel/accommodations and airfare, an average of $1,560.92/person.
MVA reinstated its tourist exit survey this fiscal year to gather additional information on visitor behavior and opinions. The survey covers visitor demographics, travel planning, and visitor satisfaction and has been conducted during high- and low-peak seasons with visitors from Japan, Korea, and China.
“It’s been 12 years since the MVA has had the funding to conduct a visitor exit survey, which is essential for gaining information for the development and refinement of marketing strategies,” said Tenorio. “Having a clear and current understanding of visitor perceptions, experiences, and habits gives the government and community a better idea of what needs to done to improve tourism product.” (MVA)