8 Oct 2009

CNMI makes new bid to maintain access for Chinese and Russian tourists

5:42 pm on 8 October 2009

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce has asked several members of the US Congress to delay the start of federal immigration control in the Northern Marianas until December 2010.

The law to adopt US federal immigration rules is to take effect at the end of next month.

The Chamber says a one-year delay would allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to carry out the U.S. Congress' intent that the Commonwealth be able to maintain its vital Chinese and Russian tourist base.

Chinese and Russian tourists account for about 20 percent of tourism revenues in the CNMI and under federal law would no longer enjoy visa-free access.