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Guam is the CNMI's nearest source market for military tourists

Updated: Mar 19

Rota Mayor Aubry Hocog, second right, shares information about the island of Rota in The Marianas at the Quality of Life EXPO 2024 on Feb. 24, 2024, at the University of Guam. Photo courtesy of MVA

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Saipan – The Marianas Visitors Authority is pumping up its strategies to attract military visitors to the CNMI in a bid to diversify its tourism base and pivot away from the Chinese market.

For this segment, industry stakeholders see Guam as the nearest source market.

As of the last census, there were an estimated 22,00 service members currently stationed on Guam. The first batch of the 5,000 Marines who will be relocated to Guam is expected to arrive either at the end of this year or early next year.

While the military R&R may be small. MVA officials consider it an important niche market for the destination.

Most recently, the MVA joined other delegates from the Marianas at the Quality of Life EXPO 2024 last month in Guam, a travel show organized by Joint Region Marianas to showcase regional resources and services to military service members and their families. 

“The military market has always been on the MVA’s radar, and we have consistently participated in preparations for the many, many R&R port calls that military ships have made over the decades,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion. 

“In fact, Saipan has built a very good reputation for being a beautiful, nature-based port call where our military personnel feel welcomed.  With the military buildup in Guam and region, we are working closely with our military contacts to spread the word that Saipan, Tinian and Rota are ideal places to relax with family, have adventures with friends, and rejuvenate.”

The MVA joined 83 other vendors at last month’s expo, include the Rota Mayor’s Office, Aqua Resort Club, Crowne Plaza Resort, Triple J, Star Marianas Air, Let’s Go Tour, Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs, and CNMI Small Business Development Center.  The MVA shared promotional information and brochures about the Marianas and MVA members.


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