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Friday, April 18, 2014

A better way of promoting NMI

I recently returned to Tokyo from a four-day visit to Saipan. While there I read that the hotel tax will be increased from 10 percent to 15 percent and that $1.5 million of the additional funds raised will be used for tourist promotion. I would like to suggest a better use of these funds: Do something about all of the wild dogs running around Garapan and the island.

Doesn’t the government of Saipan realize just how shocking it is for visitors from advanced countries to come to Saipan and be confronted with these poor animals everywhere? They are a pitiful and frightening sight and they greatly inhibit your visitors from enjoying their stay.

My wife and I were very put off by our encounters with these animals and we basically stayed off of the streets at night, not knowing what these packs of stray dogs might do. Our other friends from Japan and the U.S. mainland who have visited Saipan tell us the same thing. I’m sure that Europeans feel the same way.

Tour companies and travel agencies are very smart and if they see that the authorities on Saipan are serious about eliminating this problem, they will put together more tours, tell their customers that Saipan is improving, and promote Saipan for you for free.

Hal Offutt
Tokyo, Japan

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