Following a three-month suspension of activities due to the impact of the coronavirus on travel, the Marianas Visitors Authority’s representative office in Japan reopened on Feb. 1, 2021, as the destination looks to reboot travel from Japan to the Marianas tentatively this summer.
“We are still in the early stages of restarting the Japan market, but we need to start laying the groundwork now for a tentative resumption of travel from Japan this summer,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “There is a lot of planning needed and, of course, it all depends on conditions related to the coronavirus.”
The office’s immediate public relations marketing activities will include updating the Japanese language MVA website with COVID-19 related information on the Marianas, creating new listings for social media (Facebook Twitter, Instagram), coordinating coverage with consumer mail magazines, reaching out to media partners, issuing press releases, and conducting a Zoom seminar for consumers. Travel trade marketing activities will include reestablishing relationships with trade partners due to organizational and personnel changes over the last several months, issuing newsletters, posting information on free travel/consumer travel sites, and developing a Marianas-Japan travel bubble based on various condition scenarios related to quarantine in the Marianas, quarantine upon return to Japan, and Japan’s Travel Advice and Warning Level.
“We have already initiated communication with our partners in the public and private sectors to gain their insight on the travel situation, and we are also speaking with Skymark Airlines, our lone carrier from Japan,” said Iakopo. “Preliminarily, favorable conditions would include for the Japan government to ease for vaccinated travelers the 14-day self-quarantine required when they return to Japan. It would also help if the Japan government’s Travel Advice and Warning was reduced from Level 3 (avoid all travel) to Level 2 (avoid non-essential travel). These are just some of the issues needing resolution for the Japan market to restart.”
Iakopo added that the MVA will continue to work closely with the Governor’s Office, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force, and other stakeholders in reopening the destination for tourism. (PR)