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Marianas Visitors Authority appoints new Managing Director

The board of directors of the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA), the official tourism board of the Commonwealth…

The board of directors of the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA), the official tourism board of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), has appointed Ms Victoria Benavente as their new Managing Director.

Her main role will be to manage the national tourism office in promoting the CNMI as a travel destination. This includes working with community and trade partners to support the MVA`s marketing and public relations efforts. Another key objective is to promote the Northern Mariana Islands, especially the three unique paradise islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota,

to the Chinese market.

MVA Chairman, David Sablan, who was recently appointed to the Pacific Asia Travel Association`s (PATA`s) International Board of Directors, said: Vicky has a comprehensive knowledge of tourism. Her vision and realistic goals will keep CNMI competitive in the tourism market and are precisely in line with the MVA`s objectives.

Vicky is no stranger to the challenges facing the CNMI. During her six years as Deputy Managing Director, she has proven to be a very capable manager. The board is confident in her leadership ability and her strategic thinking capabilities. We are certain she will be able to develop the CNMI tourism and provide strong direction for the authority.

Ms. Benavente has extensive experience and a strong network in the tourism industry, including in China which she has visited on numerous occasions. These trips have incorporated many calls on the China National Tourism Administration, including one this year. Prior to joining MVA in 1998, Vicky worked as a management intern and marketing assistant for the tourism agency under the then Marianas Visitors Bureau. She was also assistant manager at the Hyatt Regency Saipan for three years. Vicky gained hands-on management experience by running a family business for over 17 years.

China is definitely a key market for us, with 85% growth in the number of tourists from China through May this year. With the recent appointment of Ruder Finn Asia as the MVA`s representative for China, including Hong Kong, we are gearing up to promote our undiscovered Western Pacific islands to the Chinese market, commented Ms Benavente. With increasing accessibility, including the new twice weekly flights on China Eastern Airlines, the MVA is anticipating a large influx of tourists from China. Our marketing plans will significantly increase the awareness of the tourists and make the paradise islands of the Northern Marianas the `destination of choice`.

The China Eastern Airline charter flight supported by Spring Travel will fly from Shanghai to Saipan every Tuesday and Friday and return every Wednesday and Saturday from July 9 to October 9. Spring Travel is already promoting packages to local tourists, including a RMB 3200 package which includes return flights plus four nights` accommodation and visa services and RMB 3880 package which includes return flights plus five nights` accommodation and visa services.

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