21 Mar 2011

CNMI tourism industry fearful of impact of fall in Japanese visitors

3:01 pm on 21 March 2011

People in the Northern Marianas can look forward to good local holiday deals as tourism operators try to make up for an expected drop in Japanese tourists due to the quake and tsunami.

Japan is the CNMI's number one tourism market and it catered for about 185 thousand Japanese tourists last year.

Our correspondent in Saipan Mark Rabago says operators are already feeling the effects of the disasters.

He says locals are more fearful for the economy than any radiation resulting from damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

"One hotel is discounting their hotel room rates and I heard the cruise market is also down. It's going to be a challenge what the CNMI government's going to do."

Mark Rabago says authorities will be looking to tourists from China and Korea to fill the gap left by the Japanese.