The Marianas Visitors Authority still maintains a small offshore office in Taiwan with the same company that also handles the MVA’s marketing efforts in South Korea and Russia.
The MVA has already cancelled its contract with AVIARREPS Marketing Garden for the Korea and Russia marketing but has maintained its contract with the company for Taiwan. MVA board vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said in an interview early this week that they want to retain even just a small presence in Taiwan.
Cavanagh said there are no direct flights between the CNMI and Taiwan and Russia right now, so it is difficult to actually justify opening or keeping offshore offices there, especially in this time of austerity measures.
She said MVA has to make hard decisions, but they are still promoting in Taiwan because there are connecting flights to that destination.
“But there is still no direct flight. We are still hoping that they are going to come back and do charter flights,” she said.
Cavanagh recalled that about this time last year, there was an airline that was actually interested in doing direct flights from Taiwan.
“There was an interest there. Now I don’t think it’s there anymore. But we still want to stay there, even with our small presence,” she said, explaining that the contract involved is just a small amount.
At MVA’s membership meeting last December, MVA chair Marian Aldan-Pierce said MVA has had a representative office in Taiwan for several years now, working on building destination awareness and demand.
Aldan-Pierce described the Taiwan market as “very promising.”
Korea is the top-performing source of market for the CNMI. China and Japan follow. The remaining markets make up only 7 percent of visitors.
The MVA board cancelled the contract with AVIARREPS Marketing for South Korea effective Sept. 30, 2019. MVA is now seeking a new company that will manage CNMI’s offshore promotions in that country.
MVA also decided to close its offshore office in Russia effective this Sunday, June 30, Saipan Tribune learned.