MVA seeks additional $5M for TRIP Japan


The Marianas Visitors Authority has requested an additional $5 million from the CNMI administration for TRIP Japan to fund plans to extend the CNMI’s reach to other destinations within Japan.

According to MVA chair Viola Alepuyo, MVA recently requested an additional $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from Gov. Ralph DLG Torres that would be used for the Japan TRIP program.

Alepuyo explained that the allocation would go toward enticing other Japanese destinations, aside from Narita, to visit the islands.

“We have made an additional $5 million request for Japan TRIP so we can explore bringing in other Japan destinations such as Osaka, Fukuoka, etc., to ensure continued direct [flights] from Saipan to various destinations in Japan,” she said.

At the same time, Alepuyo said, MVA also asked the governor to allocate an additional $5 million for TRIP Korea. As of last week, the request has already been approved.

“An additional $5 million was approved for TRIP Korea. We have asked the MVA Korea office to come up with a proposal that they’ll be presenting during our meeting on Thursday,” Alepuyo said.

According to a previous article on the Saipan Tribune, the Office of the Governor initially allocated $15 million for TRIP Japan, which officially launched on Sept. 1.

MVA managing director Priscilla Iakopo previously said that a portion of the $15 million would go toward the TRIP program’s airline incentive, while the remaining funding would be used to promote and advertise the CNMI in Japan.

“The $15 million would be used for airline incentives and then we want to have some marketing programs. We want to also do a lot of cooperative promotions and advertisements with our travel trade partners. What we want to do is come up with different programs so that we can entice our Japanese tourists to also visit Tinian and Rota as well,” she said.

As of Sept. 5, MVA has successfully been advertising the CNMI as a destination in Japan and has even established a partnership with the operators of the famous travel website Expedia to further promote the islands to Japanese travelers.

Meanwhile, MVA also managed to establish a partnership with Reiwa Travel DBA Newt, an online tourism promotional platform company. 

Newt, in the form of an online app, will feature, promote, and market the CNMI as a destination. The company’s local operator is TASI tours. Newt and TASI have real-time access to booking hotels and optional tours. 

Both companies have signed up for the Y10,000 agency incentive program to help sell the CNMI as a destination. 

The Y10,000 agency incentive means travel agents will get a Y10,000 incentive for all travels booked to Saipan.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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