Managaha  is one  of  the  most popular sites on  Saipan in  the Marianas which expects to reopen to international flights in July 2021. 

(MVA) —   A recent consumer survey conducted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in South Korea shows high demand for the Marianas among those planning to travel this year.

The survey was conducted from April 16 to May 2 among 2,368 individuals in Korea who expressed the intent to travel in 2021.   Almost all of the respondents, or 94% of those surveyed, expressed a willingness to travel to The Marianas with 58% of them willing to stay 7-14 days, significantly longer than the average 4-5 day trips they took prior to the pandemic. Almost 80% agreed or strongly agreed to having a Covid-19 test prior to departure to their destination, as required for any visitors entering the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Marianas Tourism Resumption Investment Plan or TRIP unveiled this week.   Nearly all respondents, or 98%, “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that support or discounts on hotel and airfare would make them willing to travel to the Marianas, both of which are critical components in TRIP.

When choosing a destination, respondents cited Safety as their biggest criteria (58%), followed by Budget (42%), Natural Landscape (37%), and the number of Covid-19 Confirmed Cases (35%).   Concerns about Covid-19 (65%) and a 14-day self-quarantine upon return to  Korea (45%) remained the top concerns when deciding to travel.  Quarantine exemptions or less quarantine were key factors to making visitors more willing to travel.

“Given the Marianas’ strong success rate in preventing Covid-19 cases, coupled with our vast and beautiful natural resources as a clean beach resort destination, we are perfectly positioned to satisfy travelers who consider these factors important,” said MVA Chairwoman Viola Alepuyo.  “It would be extremely favorable if self-quarantine for vaccinated individuals returning to Korea could be waived, which is something the Korean government is considering. That is a decision beyond our local control, but it would increase the number of travelers, for sure.”

The high rate of vaccination in the Marianas is anticipated to strongly work in favor of tourism resumption, as  86%  of  respondents said  they consider the  vaccination rate  of  the destination a “great deal” or “quite a bit;” vaccination rate of 70% or higher would make most respondents feel safe in the Marianas.  In addition, nearly everyone, or 90%, said they would be willing to be vaccinated if they could be exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine obligation upon returning to Korea.

“Almost every major concern or consideration consumers expressed in the survey is addressed by the Marianas tourism resumption plan,” said MVA Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo.  “We are confident that visitors will be enticed by what we have to offer them and that the TRIP pilot program will be successful in jumpstarting the economy.”

A majority of the respondents were female (63%), office workers (32%), and ages 30-49 (67%). The top anticipated activities in The Marianas are Relaxation, Leisure Sports, Island Tour, Gourmet Tour, and Stargazing. Ten percent also indicated the intent to golf.

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