The Marianas Visitors Authority stills maintains a representative office in Russia because of strategic reasons, according to MVA managing director Christopher Concepcion.
“Our Russia market has seen better days, of course,” said Concepcion in response to Saipan Tribune’s request for information about the Russian market.
Concepcion said MVA feels the Russia market still holds potential to the CNMI’s tourism industry because East Russia is very close to the CNMI.
He said Russian citizens can visit the CNMI visa-free, which is a huge selling point because the Commonwealth is the only part of the U.S. that allows Russians to visit without a visa.
Concepcion said the Russia market still has tourists that are the longest staying and highest spending per capita. “They are a coveted market all over the world,” he said.
At present, Korea takes the lead of the CNMI’s market share at 48 percent, followed by China at 38 percent, Japan at 7 percent, and the remaining markets such as Russia make up the remaining 7 percent.
In September 2017, MVA joined the Far East Travel & Education Show in Russia’s Far East dedicated to tourism and education specialist, as part of MVA’s number of activities to keep the CNMI fresh in the minds of Russians.
Last February, MVA announced that it was expecting an increase in Russian tourism arrivals this spring with Jeju
Air’s new travel promotion from Vladivostok to the Marianas via a quick transit through Seoul.