Visitor arrivals up 1,386% in May, says MVA
Arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota grew 1,386% to 6,939 visitors in May 2022, compared to 467 visitors received in May 2021, according to the Marianas Visitors Authority.
The figure is the highest monthly arrivals to the Marianas since the coronavirus pandemic but is an overall decrease of 82% from 38,262 visitors received in May 2019. Also, The Marianas had no international flights in May 2021, compared to 42 international flights in May 2022, another sign of incremental tourism recovery.
“May was another step in the right direction toward recovery of the Marianas tourism economy, and we anticipate the high travel period in the summer will remain strong,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “With competing destinations now open it is critical to ensure the MVA has an adequate budget in the new fiscal year to continue our forward momentum on reviving tourism, our primary economic driver in the islands.”
Fueled by flights operated by five airlines arriving from Seoul and Busan, a majority of visitors in May arrived from South Korea. The Marianas’ largest source market prior to the pandemic had 5,303 visitors arriving May 2022, compared to only two visitors in May 2021. Since June 1, non-vaccinated children under the age of 12 are exempted from returning quarantine in Korea, allowing families to more conveniently travel to the Marianas on summer vacation and holidays.
The Marianas received 37 visitors from Japan in May 2022, compared to seven visitors in April 2021. The MVA is in the processing of finalizing a contract to provide airline incentives for direct flights from Tokyo-Narita to resume this summer, three times a week. The MVA also reopened its Japan representative office in April 2022 to resuming marketing the destination. A Marians Seminar & Webinar with key travel agents, media, and other partners is planned for July 8 and sales calls with travel agencies, airlines and other travel partners will be held to help reboot the market.
The Marianas also received 815 visitors from Guam, 624 visitors from U.S. and a combined 160 additional visitors from all other destinations in April. (MVA)