The newest director of the Marianas Visitors Authority board stressed the need to capitalize on the unique and attractive features of each island in the Northern Marianas to boost its tourism industry.
Vicente M. Calvo, at the same time, said that the lack of air services to the southernmost island should be addressed so that it can entice prospective tourists, particularly from the neighboring island of Guam.
Calvo, who represents Rota on the MVA board, was sworn into office by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial yesterday on Capital Hill. The event also served as the investiture for elected members of the municipal councils on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Fitial appointed Calvo to the board of the agency tasked to promote and develop the CNMI as a destination of choice for visitors from all over the world, while providing a maximum quality of life for its people.
The MVA is governed by a nine-member board of directors, five of them appointed by the governor and the remaining four elected by members of the agency. Calvo's appointment was confirmed by the 17th Senate on Jan. 8.
Calvo said after the ceremony that each island in the Commonwealth has distinctive features that could entice certain kinds of tourists.
Citing Rota as an example, Calvo said the southernmost island of the Northern Marianas is known for rare flora and fauna and that could be the start of a new niche market.
Calvo noted that Rota's annual Blue Triathlon every November is expanding each year, thus the need to support marketing efforts to promote the event and invite more triathletes to participate in the competition.
Facilities on Rota should undergo a makeover, he said, to reflect that the island is a place where tourists can have fun and be safe at the same time.
But all measures to develop and improve what Rota has to offer will be put to waste unless the issue of limited air seats is addressed, according to Calvo.
He emphasized that Rota has potential tourists from Guam, and this market alone can help sustain businesses on Rota.
Calvo said he plans to meet with the MVA management to know if the situation is being evaluated and the corresponding steps being taken to solve the problem.