3 Jul 2014

CNMI tourism industry showing promise

9:27 am on 3 July 2014

A First Hawaiian Bank report has given the CNMI economy good marks due to the continued recovery of the islands' tourism industry.

The resident development economist at the University of Guam-Pacific Center for Economic Initiative, Dr. Maria Ruane, says the islands continue to attract an increasing number of visitors.

There was a 17 percent growth in visitor arrivals in 2012, and another strong year in 2013, with 438,775 visitors and 9.6 percent growth, and positive signs in 2014.

Dr. Ruane says the increase has pushed up both hotel room rates and occupancy and has generated a strong demand for accommodations.

The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands says the CNMI needs 1,000 more rooms.

The report also indicated that more than 90 percent of CNMI visitors last year came from Japan, Korea, and China/Hong Kong.