THE Marianas Visitors Authority received $3 million from the Department of Finance in late May.

In her report to the board, MVA Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo said that  over $181,000 of the funds is for MVA’s fiscal year 2021 budget allotment for May 2021 while $2.8 million is the FY 2020 hotel occupancy tax collection for the period from December 2019 to January 2020 in addition to a partial payment of the collections from February 2020.

Finance still owes MVA about $2 million in FY 2020 hotel occupancy tax collections.

As for the $3 million MVA received in May, Iakopo recommended the following allocations: $384,447.47 for Saipan; $355,847.47 for Tinian; and $380,277.97 for Rota.

She likewise proposed that $474,687 go toward reimbursing the MVA building fund.

She said the remaining $1.2 million would be set aside for the market recovery program, which includes promotions and destination enhancement.

MVA board chair Viola Alepuyo, for her part, noted that the allocations to the municipalities are pursuant to law, which, she added, also requires them to provide MVA with a detailed report on the expenditure of the funds.

As of last week, Iakopo said only the municipality of Rota had yet to submit a detailed report to MVA.

She likewise told the board that MVA will not receive hotel occupancy tax collections from FY 2021. This was when the local tourism industry was shut down by the Covid-19 restrictions.

The board voted unanimously to approve the proposed allocations for the $3 million MVA received from Finance last May.


K-Andrea is a Gates Millennium Scholar who earned her bachelor of arts degree in political science from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Since joining the MV team in Feb. 2020, she has been covering the political, environmental, and community beats.

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