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Mandatory quarantine a big challenge for tourism industry

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MARIANAS Visitors Authority board chairwoman Marian Aldan-Pierce said the biggest challenge for the tourism industry when it finally reopens is the mandatory quarantine.

She noted that some tourists are allowed to visit the CNMI without a visa for 14 days, but because of Covid-19 restrictions, they will have to spend five to seven days in quarantine.

And when tourists return to their country, they may undergo quarantine again, Aldan-Pierce said, adding: “Who would want to travel?”

She said the CNMI should look into how other countries and jurisdictions are implementing their quarantine rules.

The administration is hoping to reopen the CNMI to tourists on July 15, but Aldan-Pierce said there’s currently “absolutely zero demand” and many airlines are not flying.

“Nobody wants to travel right now,” she added.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CNMI lost about 90% of its revenue from its only industry, tourism, she said.

“The economic value of the tourism industry to the CNMI is over a billion dollars,” she added. “Tourism is the only economic driver that we have.”

 

 

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