MVA to retire Saipanda next year

THE Marianas Visitors Authority will retire its tourism mascot “Saipanda” next year after its “Happy Children in Paradise” event which is held from July to December.

MVA Managing Director Chris Concepcion said they will also mark the 20th anniversary of Saipanda which was created when Japan was still the islands’ primary tourism market.

“Saipanda has been useful to us, but it’s about time to retire it in the midst of a rebranding process for all our markets and not just Japan,” MVA marketing manager Bruce Bateman said.

For the anniversary program next year, Bateman said MVA will produce commemorative backpacks and conduct a social media contest.

“Children 12 years older and under from the three major source countries will give their inputs on which design they like the best,” he added.

By Dec. 2018, he said they will hold a retirement party for Saipanda and “send him off with glad and good wishes.”

Bateman said they will also hold a contest for a new mascot.

The contest will be open to children and adults on Saipan, Rota and Tinian.

MVA board member Chris Nelson said they should also collaborate with schools on Saipan that have ties with schools abroad.

The idea is to bring in more young visitors who will travel with their parents, he added.

On Tuesday, the MVA board approved management’s request for $136,000 to fund the Happy Children in Paradise campaign.

The campaign is one of MVA’s longest standing promotional programs and it involves giving away backpacks to visiting children 12 years old and younger.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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