MVA plans ‘facelift’ for Garapan • Tourism office taps CRM to help ensure safety of tourists

Posted on Jun 11 1999

After years of neglect, the beach area on the island’s commercial district of Garapan will finally get a facelift with tourism and environment officials working out a plan that will also ensure the safety of the tourist.

Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Perry J. Tenorio said Garapan’s beach area from Dai-Ichi to Hyatt Hotels will be included in the beautification project of the commercial district.

According to MVA managing director Perry J. Tenorio, the tourism agency has tapped the Coastal Resources Management’s help in making sure that the banana boat and jet ski operators do not cause any accident to tourists who are swimming within the area.

CRM Executive Director Peter Barlas said a landing zone for these motor vehicles will be designated in a plan that will be drawn up by his office. “We will consolidate the water sports operation in the area within these two beaches aside from the landscaping that will be made in the vacant spaces,” said Barlas.

While maintaining the cleanliness of the water is the concern of the Division of Environmental Quality, Tenorio said the tourism agency must see to it that the place is a prime destination for the tourist since it is the island’s tourist district.

Garapan, the island’s tourist district, has lost its luster when many establishments in the area were forced to close shop due to the decline in tourist arrivals brought about by Asia’s economic crisis.

The Hotel Association of Northern Mariana Islands has expressed concerns in maintaining the cleanliness of the Garapan area which becomes flooded during the onset of the rainy season.

Hotel establishments along Garapan, namely Dai-Ichi Hotel, Hafadai Beach Hotel, Hyatt and Micro Beach are affected since pollution has always been concentrated in this area.

DEQ regularly takes water samples and issue warnings against swimming and fishing in various beach areas of Saipan due to the presence of fecal coliform.

High concentrations of fecal coliforms may be the result of high surf conditions and storm water runoff due to rain storms. Studies have shown that storm water runoff in tropical environments may also contain fecal coliform bacteria from the natural environment.

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