‘TOGETHER, WE CAN’
Destination enhancements get widespread support
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres describes the response to the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers’ initiative, called the Public-Private Partnership, as very encouraging.
The initiative, which aims to bring the community together to help in the maintenance and development of CNMI parks, landmarks, and tourist sites, has already drawn the commitment of 20 public and private groups.
Under the initiative, these 20 groups have signed up for a five-year commitment to the Public-Private Partnership campaign by submitting project proposals, while several organizations have already started improving their adopted sites.
The GCEA’s Public-Private Partnership campaign encourages government agencies, the business and education sectors, the many ethnic groups on island, and non-government organizations to adopt tourist sites or any significant locations/areas in the villages on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian, and maintain them.
Over the last several weeks, beautification and clean-up drives have been done in beaches, parks, pavilions, and other attractions on the islands, while hiking and bike trails were cleared. Others did site assessments and have identified potential partners.
Torres, who chairs the GCEA, expressed his deep appreciation to the groups that committed to the PPP and praised them for their swift response. The governor said the groups’ involvement in the destination enhancement program reflects how the CNMI, as one community, is taking pro-active steps at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and is keenly preparing to welcome back visitors.
The initial list of groups that committed to GCEA’s PPP includes E-Land Group, Bridge Capital, Commonwealth Ports Authority, Airport Operators Committee, POI Aviation, Triathlon Association of the CNMI, NMI Cycling Federation, TanHoldings, Lions Club International, CTSI Logistics, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, United Filipino Organization, Korean Community of Saipan, Rotary Club of Saipan, Emon Lodge 179, Kanoa Resort, and the Chinese Association of Saipan. On Rota, FilCorp., the Rota Mayor’s Office, and Valentino Hotel have also stepped up to the plate to support the initiative.
“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of the Public-Private Partnership initiative in the development and maintenance of the CNMI parks and tourist sites. E-Land Group has been engaged in a number of projects to improve public infrastructure and has been taking care of Paupau Beach Park for visitors’ safety and convenience since 2016. As an official partner of the CNMI government, we will continue to advance the adopted site with an even deeper commitment,” said E-Land Group/Micronesia Resort Inc. chief executive officer Brian Shin.
The Rotary Club of Saipan, led by its president, Sonya Dancoe, sees the PPP as an opportunity to create projects that mirror the organizations’ mission, which is to provide services that promote education, health and wellness, environment protection, and economic and community development.
The UFO is encouraging other groups to take part in this endeavor. “At this point, the best way to help boost tourism in the CNMI is to market the islands as a world-class destination. Tourists can help bring back a vibrant economy, which would provide employment opportunities for everyone living in the CNMI. Help beautify, clean, and restore and maintain these sites for all our visitors to see and for us to take pride in them,” the group said.
The GCEA is expecting more groups will come aboard as it talks with other stakeholders. Adopted sites are not limited to places frequented by tourists. They could be any area in a certain village, government-owned sports venues, youth centers, playgrounds, and other sites and facilities that need improvements and maintenance, allowing residents and visitors to maximize their usage.
“Let’s continue to work together on projects that will further encourage visitors to come to our beautiful islands. The many groups that have contributed to this initiative are much appreciated and their assistance will go a long way as we step up to help the CNMI go through this pandemic, boost our economic gains, protect our environment, and improve the lives of everyone who call our beautiful islands home. Together, we can,” Torres said. (PR)