To strengthen its valuable partnership with Korea travel partners, the Marianas Visitors Authority has appointed a Korea Marianas Tourism Council comprised of CEOs and presidents of top Korean travel agencies and Asiana Airlines.
The representatives of the industry advisory group conducted a FAM tour of the Northern Marianas from Jan. 14 to 17, 2016. The appointments were made at an official ceremony at Hyatt Regency Saipan on Jan. 15, 2016.
“The Korea Marianas Tourism Council meetings will be a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and provide suggestions to develop the Korean travel market for the NMI,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “We’re pleased to have the partnership of each of the new appointees, and thank them for accepting this appointment.”
KMTC members are:
• Mr. Moo-Seung Yang, CEO of Tour 2000 (Chairman of KATA, Korea Association of Travel Agents)
• Mr. Ok-min Han, CEO of Mode Tour
• Mr. Jae-Chan Leigh, Vice Chairman of Sejoong Travel
• Mr. Sangho Lee, CEO of Very Good Tour
• Mr. Jin Seok Lee, President of Naeil Tour
• Mr. Min-Soo Kwak, Executive Managing Director of Hana Tour
• Mr. Myeong-young Moon, Executive Vice President, Asiana Airlines
Following the ceremony, the MVA and the committee discussed ideas for further development of NMI tourism.
“One of the biggest concerns raised is the long lines at immigration at the Saipan International Airport,” said Tenorio. “KMTC members expressed that this initial negative experience upon arrival leaves a bad first impression and may also affect the number of repeat visitors.”
The long lines may also serve as a disincentive for airlines to increase the size of the planes flying to Saipan, the group said.
“On a positive note, the members did express interest in sending more visitors to Tinian and Rota,” said Tenorio. “To do so, the improvement of inter-island transportation to or between islands is a must. That would include regular and reliable air service between islands, and perhaps also ferry service between Saipan and Tinian, a size upgrade of current planes, and the upgrade of airports.”
KMTC members also suggested new hotel development on Rota so more visitors can enjoy the island’s pristine natural environment and local festivals.