MVA’s Tan proposes meeting with Palau, Guam tourism officials

MARIANAS Visitors Authority board member Jerry Tan said tourism officials of Guam, the CNMI and Palau should meet and discuss programs beneficial to the region’s tourism industry.

Tan told the MVA board meeting on Monday said there have been many attempts to gather officials of the three jurisdictions’ tourism agencies.

“I just feel bad that for many years; it’s not for lack of trying. We did try, but for whatever reason they can’t seem to get together,” he added.

Jerry Tan

Tan said MVA can discuss its concerns with its counterparts on Guam and Palau and they could share possible solutions to common problems.

“Guam is experiencing flight reduction,” he added. “I think this time we should also look at Palau as well. I think there are certain policies that the Palau leadership is looking into which could also be beneficial to us,” Tan said.

In a separate interview, MVA board chair and Hotel Association of Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh said a meeting between the tourism offices of the CNMI, Guam and Palau will be healthy to the region’s tourism industry.

“Even though there’s competition, we do share lots of concerns, so we might be able to help each other, and hopefully it might be informative,” she said.

MVA Managing Director Chris Concepcion said the reduction in flight service is an important topic that is likely to be discussed in any such meeting.

“We can see that Guam has been hit hard with flight reduction from Japan starting in January since Delta Air Lines is pulling out of Guam,” he added.

He said Delta Air Lines is maintaining its operation in the CNMI and Palau. However, he added, United Air Lines is reducing its Manila-Guam flights, eliminating its operation in Palau and Yap, and reducing other flights from Japan cities to Guam.

“Tourism is heavily dependent on airlift. The CNMI’s challenge is airlift from Japan,” Concepcion said.

He said MVA is working closely with Delta and other airlines to get additional flights particularly from Osaka and Nagoya, Japan.

In 2016, Palau’s tourist arrivals totaled 136,572; the CNMI, 530,525; and Guam, 1.5 million.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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