On Nov. 22, the Marianas Visitors Authority welcomed the first of nearly 400 Japanese visitors arriving this week on Japan Airlines as part of a company tour.
The MVA sent an entourage to Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport to welcome the Kyoritsu Denki Group travelling for what is termed in the industry as MICE, which means travel involving meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.
Tour company Pacific Micronesia Tours, a subsidiary of Japan’s JTB Corp., is providing ground handling for the two charter flights scheduled to arrive from Shizuoka, Japan, on Nov. 22 and Nov. 24.
“We do receive small groups of 20 or 30 from Japan, but when it comes to larger groups, it’s really difficult for the travel agent in Japan to make airseat reservation (on the one daily flight), so they chose to charter on Japan Airlines,” Masato Tezuka, president of Tasi Tours, who was also on hand to personally greet the group. “We’re very excited, very pleased to have this kind of group coming from Japan. We will try to do our best to welcome them.”
Tezuka said PMT is also availing of the MVA’s MICE incentive program to support the tour.
“The arrival of Kyoritsu Denki Group is significant in that the company wanted to visit the Marianas enough to charter a plane to bring their employees. Interestingly, I was also told Shizuoka is a historical fishing community with some ties to the Marianas,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “We hope this will be the start of an incremental increase in similar flights. Certainly, the MVA will continue our all-out efforts to rebuild our Japan market and let Japanese visitors know they are still warmly welcomed in the Marianas.”
The flights were scheduled to bring 198 passengers and 185 passengers on Nov. 22 and 24, respectively. (MVA)