Tour agency reps are NMI Museum’s first guests

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Tour agency representatives from Japan visit the NMI Museum. They are the first batch of guests since the museum closed down as a result of Typhoon Soudelor. (Contributed Photo)

The NMI Museum welcomed its first batch of visitors since shutting down almost three years ago as a result of Typhoon Soudelor.

Last Nov. 26, visitors came to the NMI Museum to witness the renovations made to the faciliity and to gain knowledge of Saipan’s history. According to Museum director Daniel Aquino, the group consisted of representatives of various travel agencies.

The guests were presidents of multiple Japanese travel agencies and were visiting the NMI Museum, along with Masato Tezuka, Tasi Tours, and PMT Tour representatives. The Japanese travel companies were subsidiaries of railway companies in Japan.

For most of them, the visit was their first time to discover Saipan and a chance to familiarize and educate themselves with the islands’ culture and historical heritage, according to Aquino.

He hopes the visit is the starting point to hopefully revive or increase the numbers of Japanese tourists on Saipan.

Aquino is optimistic that the museum, the Marianas Visitors Authority, and the visiting representatives’ tour companies can work toward reviving the Japanese market and work to give tourists a must-see tourist attraction while visiting Saipan.

Aquino said that last week’s visit was a very positive experience for all. The tour agency representatives were able to visually see what life was like during the pre-war and post-war era for the Japanese as well as how the life and culture of the Chamorro and Carolinian people evolved after the war.

Aquino said Tezuka thanked him and the museum’s staff for accommodating his guests from Japan. Tezuka was also surprised at the transformation of the museum in such a short period of time, according to Aquino, having seen the museum before.

Those present for the tour were Konihiko Yasuki, president of Keio Travel/Keio Railway; Hiroshi Miyata, president of Entetsu Travel/Entetsu Railway; Fuminobu Sasak, president of Okdakyu Travel/Okdakyu Railway; Naoki Nakazawa president of Shizutetsu Travel/ Shizutetsu Railway, Nobuaki Sakamaki, president of Tobu Top Tours/Tobu Railway, Isamu Shinohara, president of Fujikyu Travel/Fujikyu Railway; Kazuhiro Tanaka, president of JTB Group; and Shinobu Omori, general manager of JTB Group.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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