A representative of the Marianas Visitors Authority reiterated yesterday the agency’s projection that, due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, the CNMI will take a blow to its economy with the loss of over 70,000 Chinese tourists for the rest of the fiscal year.
Speaking at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce membership meeting at the Seaside Hall of Kanoa Resort, MVA marketing manager Thomas Kim showed in a PowerPoint presentation that the MVA now anticipates to lose a colossal 73,567 Chinese tourists within the next six months.
Kim gave essentially same message at a coronavirus mitigation press conference held last Jan. 29, 2020, at the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall, when he said that the MVA had expected to receive 47,467 visitors from China this year but that has been zeroed out, that MVA envisions zero Chinese tourist arrivals starting this month until the end of the fiscal year. Kim earlier told Saipan Tribune that this loss would hurt the CNMI’s economy since China is one of the CNMI’s largest tourist markets.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who was also present at the Saipan Chamber meeting, expressed his concern not only about the threat to the CNMI’s economy but also the outbreak’s risk to the public’s health.
“Now, more than ever, we need to come together, stay vigilant about our health without causing widespread panic, and continue to promote the Marianas as a coronavirus-free, world-class destination,” he said.
Torres encourages the CNMI to “work together and inspire our visitors from other source markets in Japan and Korea to enjoy our beautiful island and our warm hospitality.” He believes this effort will minimize the negative effect of what the CNMI economy will lose.
“For now, please continue to follow updates from CHCC and my office for the latest and most accurate information regarding the coronavirus. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and if you need any information, please contact my office or CHCC,” Torres added.