The Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, the CNMI, saw a decline of nearly 86,000 tourists in fiscal year of 2006, owing primarily to the pullout of Japan Airlines in October 2005.
Latest data from the Marianas Visitors Authority shows that the number of Japanese tourists dropped from 376,263 in 2005, to 280,292 in 2006.
Japanese tourists make up about 70 percent of all tourist arrivals in the CNMI but the decline in that market was offset in part by visitors from other areas.
More than 80,000 South Korean tourists visited the CNMI, a rise of twenty four per cent over last year.
The Visitors Authoriy says the increase was due to various promotional events such as the holding of the Miss Korea Pageant at Saipan World Resort, an online promotion by Coca Cola and the Starmax filming of a Korean drama during the summer.