The Office of the Governor has allocated $15 million for the CNMI’s tourism bubble program with Japan, called TRIP Japan, which is set to officially launch on Sept. 1.
According to Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla Iakopo, the Office of the Governor and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres assisted in funding the program. “Thank you to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for really assisting MVA, especially in regards to the funding,” she said.
The MVA managing director said the allocated funding is crucial because without it, the CNMI would not have been able to push forward with TRIP Japan.
When asked what exactly the funds would be used for, Iakopo said a portion 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.
David Baker, United Airlines Saipan general manager, said the flight service from Japan is a great boost to the CNMI’s ongoing economic recovery
“This service is exciting and our hope is that it will help to restore the Japan tourism for our island. It is a good boost for our community,” he said.
According to a previous article on the Saipan Tribune, the inaugural flight for TRIP Japan is set to arrive on Sept. 1, starting off with three weekly flights.