24 Sep 2008

CNMI launches new effort to attract Korean tourists

10:07 am on 24 September 2008

The island of Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Maraianas could see a major jump in Korean visitors next year with a resort there and a local airline poised to launch chartered air services to the island from Korea.

The Rota Resort and Freedom Air have unveiled a promotional campaign in Korea advertising Rota as a prime destination for Korean tourists, who now represent a mere handful of the tourists that visit the island each year.

The kickoff comes ahead of the planned launch of a chartered air service deal, set to begin in early 2009, which could attract up to 6,000 Korean visitors to the island.

News of the flights comes as local officials are eying the renewal of a similar deal with a tour company and Continental Airlines that brought chartered air services to Rota from Japan.

Henry S. Atalig, chief of the CNMI Department of Commerce's branch on Rota, says those flights have bolstered the island's economy and increased tourism by 10 percent and a renewal of the deal appears likely.