Visitor arrivals to The Marianas increased 2 percent in November 2017 compared to November 2016. According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota registered 48,039 visitors in November 2017, compared to 47,261 visitors received in November 2016.
Arrivals from Korea remained essentially flat at minus 2 percent to 24,388 visitors, yet retained its position as the top performing source market. Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Jin Air and T’way Air provide Incheon-Saipan flight services. T’way Air increased to daily ICN-SPN services beginning on Dec. 7, 2017, while Jeju Air added daily Busan-Saipan flight services beginning on Dec. 15, 2017, adding a combined 49,140 seats to The Marianas annually.
Arrivals from China grew 9 percent compared to November 2016 to 16,168 visitors. Mass direct consumer promotion in China during November was led by the well-attended China International Travel Mart trade show with six key partners: Dynasty Holiday, Century Tours, Shenzhen Professional Int’l Travel Service, Meili Saipan, Zhejiang New World Travel Agency and Top Development, Inc. In addition, a number of road shows were completed including an industry seminar in Kunming, road show with Century Tours in Datong, road show with Tuniu.com in Shenzhen, and a road show with Dynasty Holiday in Hangzhou and Jiaxing.
Arrivals from Japan were 4 percent lower than November 2016 at 4,493 visitors. Delta Air Lines began using larger aircraft on its daily flight from Tokyo-Narita on Nov. 5, adding an additional 24 Comfort+ seats per flight. There was also a 400-passenger MICE group arriving on two JAL charter flights. Delta implemented three ad hoc cancellations on Nov. 24, 27, and 28, due to yield management factors, compared to only one ad hoc cancellation in November 2016. Heightened concerns over the North Korea missile threat also forced the cancellation of one anticipated school trip.
Source markets economic highlights
South Korea’s finance minister said the nation could achieve the growth target of 3 percent is there was no sudden economic volatility in the fourth quarter. The average USD/WON exchange rate in November was 1,107.12 won, a slight decrease from the previous rate of 1,128.61 won in October.
In China, the Consumer Price Index of October 2017 saw an overall increase of 1.9 percent year on year. In December, the China Outbound Tourism Index is estimated to be 105.1, with an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the same time period in 2016.
In Japan, strong global growth continued to propel economic activity in Q3, leading the economy to expand for the seventh consecutive quarter and marking the longest stretch of growth in more than 15 years. Monthly average rate for USD/YEN exchange in November 2017 was 112.86, compared to 112.89 in October 2017.