Tasi Tours celebrates 41 years in the CNMI

From left, David Igitol, Tasi Tours director, and Masato Tezuka, Tasi Tours president. (Bea Cabrera)

This year marks Tasi Tours’ 41st year in the tourism business in the CNMI.

The Japanese company already holds the distinction of being the first foreign investor and the longest running foreign business in the Commonwealth and Tasi Tours intends to do so for many more years.

“For Tasi Tours, we would like to be one of the top local 100 companies in the CNMI,” said Tasi Tours president Masato Tezuka.

Tasi Tours already holds the distinction of being owned by JTB Corp., the largest travel agency in Japan, and one of the largest travel agencies in the world.

Its two main businesses in the CNMI are the coach bus/transport business and the tours in Managaha.

The transportation business is centered on the transport of inbound tourists. It has 19 large buses, 10 medium-sized buses, five vans, two limousines, and a sedan.

Since 1989, Tasi Tours has been managing and operating on Managaha Island. The concession agreement between the Department of Public Lands and Tasi Tours is currently under negotiations.

“Managaha is the jewel of Saipan. It is very important to both residents and tourists and is one of the very well-protected places on Saipan. We would like to keep it that way—preserve its natural beauty and maintain and sustain it for residents and tourists,” said Tezuka.

Tasi Tours has been a very important partner of the CNMI and it intends to continue that in the future.

“We would like to contribute to the society. We’d like to enhance the beauty and branding of the CNMI to the world. We cannot do everything all at once but we would like to do as much as we can,” Tezuka said.

Five years ago, when the economy and tourism industry of Saipan was not so rosy, Tezuka came up with a concept for the CNMI called “Flower Island.”

“We have this idea of making Saipan known as the Flower Island. …There are so many islands around the world and, like the CNMI, they have beautiful oceans, with many activities and beautiful nature [scenes]. So I asked myself, how can Saipan stand out?” Tezuka asked.

“So the idea of maybe calling Saipan the Flower Island would work as there is no other island branded as Flower Island in the world. The garden concept is nation building,” he added.

Tezuka worked on the concept and hired a professional landscape designer from Singapore. Together they presented the idea to the late governor Eloy S. Inos and it was positively received.

“It did not materialize during that time because sadly, Gov. Inos passed away and then Soudelor happened. So the idea was set aside.”

“However seven months ago, we had a meeting with a professional designer from Japan and the Marianas Visitors Authority, represented by managing director Chris Concepcion, and it was welcomed. We have expanded the intention of the project,” he added.

According to Tezuka, the Flower Island project is for all the islands of the CNMI. MVA wants this project to materialize, he said.

Tezuka assures the public that they can expect more ideas and projects to come from Tasi Tours.

“We promise our customers to provide safe, high-quality services, and to assist in customers’ experience of Saipan to the fullest. A lot of investment is going on on Saipan but, from our point of view, we would like to be consistent and add more value to the CNMI,” Tezuka said.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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