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Saipan facing homegrown tourism threat

Ben Blaschke
Written by Ben Blaschke

Saipan, home of Imperial Pacific’s soon-to-open Imperial Pacific Resort, could find its tourism industry hamstrung if basic infrastructure needs – including airport waiting times – aren’t addressed immediately.

Those are the findings of a new study on the feasibility and sustainability of tourism development in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) conducted by global consulting company Horwath HTL.

Speaking at a general meeting of the Mariana Visitors Authority this week, Horwarth HTL’s Nigel Summers said, “What is quite shocking at the moment when everything is looking great is that you have a number of risks and threats coming together all at the same time.”

They include length queues already being experienced by visitors at Saipan airport, a lack of five-star accommodation, insufficient infrastructure and labor shortages Imperial Pacific Resort is scheduled to open on 31 March.

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