VIDEO: CNMI Report – Fitial Signs 4 Bills Aimed at Boosting Tourism Into Law


Saipan – Four major bills to give tourism and revenue generation in the CNMI a boost were signed into law by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial Wednesday.



The Saipan Tribune reports that the first bill signed was the tourism incentive bill or the Japan Air Service Stabilization bill. The new law offers a total of up to $6.2 million to tour agents who bring in tourists from Osaka and Nagoya during so-called low seasons in 2011 and 2012.

A measure that requires businesses to pay gross revenue tax every month instead of every quarter was also signed into law. The initiative is expected to spread out the revenue collections throughout the year.

Fitial also signed into law a bill expanding the smoking-designated rooms in hotels from 20 percent to 30 percent. It amends the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008 and also allows smoking in the balconies of the rooms that are designated as smoking areas.

The fourth new law signed by the CNMI governor, meanwhile, allows for a non-compounding annual retirement bonus in lieu of a cost of living increase to help stabilize the NMI Retirement Fund.

Fitial and his Lt. Gov. Eloy Inos said the collaborative effort between the Legislature and the Executive Branch paved the way for the four bills to be enacted into laws.