THEY came at different times of the year: photographers and writers from, newspapers, broadcasters from radio stations, reporters from television stations, web site representatives, tour operators and travel agencies.
They all share a common goal and that is to visit the sights, feel and see the famous attractions of Saipan, Tinian and Rota and go back to their own places to produce articles and commercials to let the whole world know that the CNMI is a place worth visiting.
The visitors went to the famed locations such as the white sand beaches of Managaha Island, the scenic natural sites of the Grotto, Bird Island, Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff, the Korean Peace Memorial on Saipan, to the historical sites on Tinian and Rota. They sampled the optional tours available tours including arts and culture, dinner cruise, diving, eco/outdoor adventure, family activities, fishing, movie theatre, shopping, spa/fitness, sightseeing historical tours, water activities, wedding and honeymoon, and others.
They all experienced the uniqueness that spells the totality of the CNMI, and in return they have done their part in providing exposure to the islands to the rest of the world.
The success of all these fam tours are due to the efforts of the Marianas Visitors Authority through its managing director Perry Tenorio and the island’s tour agencies, hotel and restaurant operators and other sponsors who have worked with MVA to facilitate a smooth stay for the visitors.
From January to December this year, the CNMI has received over $1.7 million value of media exposure on TV, newspapers, magazines, radio and web site promotions. The products of the familiarization tours were targetted at millions of viewers, readers and listeners in the with the aim of attracting them to come and visit the CNMI.
With the visitor arrival figures steadily decreasing over the past years,
Here’s a glimpse of the exposures for this year based on information released by the MVA.
The popular East Asia boy band “TVXQ” was here from Jan. 13-17 to videotape an upcoming music video and SBS TV, one of the three major channels in Korea.
On Feb. 13, MVA hosted a familiarization tour from Asahi News Star, a cable and satellite news channel to introduce Tinian and Saipan as a destination for the senior market. It was also targeted to air on Yahoo! Japan. The estimated exposure value is $132,000.
On Feb.19, a tour group from from Busan, Korea packed in the sights of both Saipan and Rota. The group was composed of 12 tour agents and one representative each from newspaper Busan Ilbo, Saipan World Resort Korea office, Asiana Airlines, and the MVA Korea office.
CNMI was featured on air to 12 million radio listeners in Russia following a familiarization tour from representatives of Pevoe Popularnoe Radio in Moscow. The radio feature is valued at up to $100,000.
On March 13-17, an eight-member production team of the tourism channel “4S Charming” was here to produce 5-minute segments for the month of April. The show was targeted at over half a million viewers in 20 cities in China.
On March 21-26, a writer and photographer from Weekly Shinchou, a magazine reaching nearly 500,000 readers in Japan were here on a fam tour. The estimated value of the coverage is $54,000-$90,000
On March 23-27, reporters from Cosmopolitan, a monthly fashion magazine experienced numerous attractions for a supplement in Cosmopolitan Travel. The estimated value of the coverage is $102,000.
A six-member team from Brutus, a high-class fashion and lifestyle magazine in Japan visited Saipan for coverage introducing Saipan as a famous location for shooting covers. The approximate ad exposure value is $120,000.
Japan’s Body+ magazine, published monthly and reaches 70,000 readers, did a coverage of the January 2009 Winter Festival of Runs on Saipan and came back in April to do another 4-6 page feature with a publicity value of up to $76,000.
A 10-page coverage at an estimate ad exposure value of $45,000 was slated for Korea’s Singles Magazine in the Summer Special Travel Guide featuring destination travel information.
On May 29, the Housewives’ Life, a trend-setting Korean magazine targeting housewives slated four pages of coverage at an estimated exposure value of US$8,000.
Shape Magazine, a major Russian magazine reaching eight million readers was here to do a 6-page feature and an article on the magazine’s website. The estimated value of the article is US$250,000
From June 15-19, a five-member team from Japan’s Monthly Diving magazine was set to feature 10 pages of the CNMI’s year-round diving available sites at an estimated ad value of over $60,000.
Marine Diving, a monthly magazine with a circulation of 170,000 in Japan covered the first Flipper Race held at Managaha on June 20. The estimated exposure value of the article is over $39,000.
On July 3-7, 28 media outlet representatives from Guangzhou, China were here on a fam tour.
Nine media outlets from China were here on a fam tour on Aug. 8, including the Shanghai TV Station with a viewership of over 100 million, website integrated CCTV channel U.CCTV.com, Sina.com, video sharing website Youku.com, travel guidebook Gootrip Magazine, magazine Elite Traveler, newspaper journal The Labor Daily, Metro DM, and flight magazine The Moment. The total estimated value of exposure from this fam tour was over $58,000.
Six Russian media outlets visited CNMI on a 10-day fam tour last Sept. with an estimated ad value of US$458,000.
NS Homeshopping cable station and JAUTOUR of Korea visited the NMI to film a TV commercial advertising travel packages to this tropical resort destination. The one-hour commercial and interactive buying program, set to air on Oct. 31 has an estimated ad exposure value of $40,000.
Writers and photographers from the Chinese Kunming TV Tourist Channel were here to do a coverage set to air this month. The station reaching over one million households which was set to air this month.
The CNMI was slated to receive 15 minutes of prime time TV coverage each week last month on the Yel-Arna TV channel, owned by the Khabar Agency. The coverage was targetted to reach an audience of 13 million potential travelers, with an estimated exposure value of over USD $67,000.
Last month, MVA also hosted two media personnel from Delta Airline’s in-flight magazine SKY. Saipan will be featured in the January/February 2010 issue of SKY, with an estimated total ad value of $65,000.
DecemberMVA and the Japan Saipan Travel Association hosted the annual Marianas Tourism Academy 2009 for 56 travel agents and media representatives from major cities across Japan recently attended the annual from Dec. 7-11. The Marianas Tourism Academy aims to give the travel industry affiliates a chance to familiarize themselves with attractions, activities and facilities in the islands.
MVA and the rest of the community hopes that the seeds sown through hosting numerous fam tours will grow and will result to more tourists here in the future.