30 Dec 2008

Russian tourists arriving in CNMI increases

11:38 am on 30 December 2008

The number of Russian tourists arriving in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas in the last quarter of the year has risen 86 percent so far this fiscal year.

The Saipan Tribune reports that during October and November, 836 Russians visited compared with 449 in the same period in the previous year.

In the month to date, 456 visitors from the former Soviet Union arrived in the CNMI, compared to 261 in November 2007.

Meanwhile, the first of three Vladivostok Air charter flights touched down at Saipan International Airport yesterday with 140 Russians packing the flight to capacity.

The Marianas Visitors Authority marketing manager, Bruce Bateman, says passengers of the charter flight needed to go through inspection by the Transportation Security Administration in Japan before proceeding to the CNMI.

Mr Bateman says if the Vladistock airline can fill more charter flights from far eastern Russian city regularly, it bodes well for the future of the CNMI market.