Visitors arrivals to the Northern Mariana Islands jumped 10 percent in February 2016 compared to February 2015.
According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota registered 47,277 visitors in February 2016, compared to 42,291 visitors received in February 2015.
Arrivals from China posted their highest-ever monthly figure at 25,719 visitor arrivals, jumping 36 percent compared to February 2015. With new flights from Tianjin, Shenyang, and Jinan operated by Dynamic Airways since January and a new flight from Hangzhou operated by Century Tours, continued rapid growth from the China market is projected for the coming year. Despite a stock market crash in China and weakening economic fundamentals in China, the continuing massive media exposure for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota in the China market continues to generate high demand for travel to the NMI.
Arrivals from Korea rose 1 percent in February to 13,638 visitors. The MVA has been working with Jin Air and EASTAR JET, Korea’s major low cost carriers, on the launch of new daily services to Saipan from June and July. These new daily services will ensure a continuing increase in arrivals from Korea to the NMI. The MVA and Jin Air will conduct major online promotions together from mid-March to announce Jin Air’s new service from June 9 and to boost advance ticket sales.
Arrivals from Japan fell 31 percent to 5,853 visitors as the NMI continued to feel the effect of Delta Air Lines cutting its Narita to Saipan night flight in October, a move that dropped airlift from the Japan market to just one daily flight, or 5,771 monthly seats. February arrivals from Japan were greater than the total seat supply from the market as demand continued to outpace available air seats, prompting some Japanese to fly to the NMI via Guam. Also in February, the MVA and Delta Air Lines held the second in a series of FAM tours for top Japan travel agents, with more tours planned with Delta through June. Co-op promotions are also underway with all major Japanese travel agencies, including a series of retail campaigns, seminars, and online promotions designed to convince Delta to re-launch the Narita night flight. In addition, the MVA has been approaching all low-cost carriers to secure the launch of new flights from Japan to the NMI this year.