30 Dec 2011

Japan's triple disaster pummels CNMI tourism in 2011

11:36 am on 30 December 2011

The Marianas Visitors Authority has released information detailing how the disaster that hit Japan on March 11 brought the CNMI's tourism industry to its knees in 2011.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear fallout that hit the Sendai region of Japan brought further uncertainties to the islands' remaining industry, as thousands from its key markets in Japan-Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya-cancelled their trips to the CNMI.

The Authority assessed that a total of 2,640 tourists from the area cancelled their vacations on island a week after the disaster.

These cancellations covered only up to June this year and may continue until the rest of the year pending Japan's recovery.

It was projected that initial direct negative impact to the CNMI economy was at US$6 million just two weeks after the tragedy.

The cancellations meantsignificant losses were incurred by hotels that led to layoffs of personnel in the local tour and travel sectors.

The Authority noted 28 percent unemployment in public sector and 31 percent unemployment in private sector as a result of the Japan tragedy.