20 Aug 2007

CNMI hit by fall in Japanese tourist numbers

12:15 pm on 20 August 2007

The number of Japanese visiting the Northern Marianas has dropped by nearly 200,000 since Japan Airlines withdrew all of its 14 Saipan flights.

Information from the Marianas Visitors Authority show the fall off in numbers over the last ten months.

According to the Authority, financial firms estimate the fall in tourists has cost the CNMI more than 271 million US dollars in potential economic activity.

The Marianas Variety newspaper says with only Northwest Airlines serving the Japan-Saipan route, the downtrend in tourist arrivals from Japan continues to drag down the overall tourist arrival rate.

It says this is despite strong growth in the CNMI's second market, South Korea.