Low cost carriers could lure Japanese tourists to CNMI

2:56 pm on 3 March 2015

The Northern Marianas' tourism body says low cost carriers and more hotel rooms would lure Japanese tourists back to the CNMI.

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach Photo: RNZ / Mark Rabago

Perry Tenorio of the Marianas Visitors Authority says securing new flights from Osaka and Nagoya are critical in reviving the Japanese market, which used to be the prime source of visitors to the CNMI.

He says the authority is targeting all the major low-cost carriers in Japan to help provide a service which could bring in more tourists as Jeju Air has done from South Korea.

Japanese arrivals to the CNMI peaked in 2005 with more than 350,000 visitors, just before Japan Airlines cancelled flights to the Commonwealth.

The Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the consumption tax hike in April 2014 also significantly impacted Japanese visitor numbers which reached a low of 110,000 last year.

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