‘Sky Spot’ rewards await Skymark passengers
A shiny sticker on the check-out counter at the Joeten grocery store in Susupe proclaims the site as a “Sky Spot.” That means any holder of a “Saipan Passport” that Skymark Airlines Inc. is giving its passengers can avail of any discount or promo that the store may be offering.
This promotional effort is part of Skymark Airlines Inc.’s bid to promote the islands by giving each and every Skymark passenger a “Saipan Passport” that contains a list of what to do, see, and where to go while on Saipan.
The “Saipan Passport” also contains information about discounts and promos the holder can avail of in accredited establishments. Just show the passport at any “Sky Spot” and the holder can avail of discounts or promos.
Various restaurants are listed such as Salty’s Grill & Café, The Shack, Marianas Creations, Kinpanchi, Paris Croissant, The Airstream, Tasty Burger, Oleai Beach Bar & Grill, to name a few. Retail store iShop and the Pacific History Park Museum are also included.
These establishments have “Sky Spot” stickers on their doors or windows so that tourists can easily see them. At the end of every visit, the passport holder gets a stamp from the restaurant or shop on their passport that serves as a good souvenir.
According to Salty’s Grill & Café manager Taka Tanzawa, they welcome this promotion and is a convenient way for Japanese tourists to maneuver their way around Saipan. “This helps Japanese tourists be aware of the restaurants on island and that’s why we always hope for full flights from Japan because this will be good for the community and tourism,” he said.
“We are one of the few wholly Japanese-owned bars still operating on Saipan. …My staff are mostly locals, so customers, especially the Japanese market, really enjoy the vibe, energy, and customer service…,” he added.
Glenn Hunter, owner of The Shack and Airtsream, said that, as a “Sky Spot” member, the restaurant gets to welcome Japanese tourists “island style.”
“The passport encourages visitors who fly on Skymark to frequent different establishments and, in our case, we show appreciation by giving them a welcome drink,” he said.
“We try to do as many cross promotions on islands and we thank Skymark and the Marianas Visitors Authority for including us in this promotion. …We have received tourists that have flown to Saipan via Skymark and it is great to have the Japanese market back,” he added.
Skymark Airlines launched its regular service of flights from Narita to Saipan only last month. This opened another door for the world to have more options to reach Saipan by flying direct from Narita to Saipan and it gave the island a chance to once again welcome the Japanese market whose absence in the tourism pool has been largely missed.
Former MVA managing director Chris Concepcion, who was instrumental in bringing Skymark to the CNMI, said that the partnership with Skymark and the CNMI is here for the long term.
“…It took many months of back and forth discussion about why the CNMI was a good and profitable option for Skymark and why Saipan should be their first ever international destination. Skymark’s leadership team is made up of very accomplished, clever individuals, so they weighed their risks and opportunities and eventually decided Saipan is the best place to begin their international expansion,” Concepcion said.
“The Japan market is one of the most coveted source markets in the world because the Japanese are sophisticated travelers. They have been around the world, are used to seeing foreign cultures, are respectful, well-mannered, and are good spenders. …Due to the rich history and strong relationship, the ‘Saipan’ brand has strong name recognition in Japan up to this day,” he added.