MTEC, MVA visit 17 CNMI schools


The Marianas Tourism Education Council and Marianas Visitors Authority have wrapped up their annual school presentations, visiting 17 public schools with the message “tourism is everybody’s business.”

For the last five years in the CNMI public and private schools, MTEC chair Vicky Benavente has led the presentations along with representatives of the MVA’s Community Projects Division.

“At first, the MTEC Education Outreach was focused on teaching the students the basics about our islands’ tourism industry, such as who our visitors are, why they choose our islands for a vacation, and also how can they help asyoung members of the community,” said Benavente.

“Lately, the majority of students are more knowledgeable about their role, and more importantly, they are asking a lot of questions about what type of jobs are available in the hospitality and tourism industry. And given the challenges that we are facing with a limited labor pool in the NMI, this is a positive sign.”

A number of industry professionals joined MTEC this year in the presentations, including project manager Kodep Ogumoro-Uledong of Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, Geri Dela Cruz of Best Sunshine International, Ltd., and Ponce Rasa of SUP Saipan.

“The MVA’s partnership with MTEC goes back to the inception of the council in 2002, and we can all see the positives results of this partnership with a community that is better educated on tourism and more young people entering the industry workforce,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “The MVA looks forward to continuing this valuable collaboration as an important part of our community outreach.”

MTEC’s presentations to the schools included visitor demographics, the benefits of tourism, industry jobs, survey results, and ways students can help support tourism. Giveaways were provided by Pacific Islands Club Saipan, First Hawaiian Bank, Pew Foundation, and the MVA. Supporters of the MTEC’s Education Outreach also include the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and DFS Galleria.

MTEC is a non-profit organization aimed at educating the public on the tourism industry and its importance to the community. MTEC is administered by a board of directors, including Concepcion (MVA), Jonas Barcinas and Naomi Nishimura (CNMI Public School System), Larry Lee (MTEC), James Nelson (Sorenson Media Broadcasting), Gordon Marciano (PDI), and Shamika Rattwate (Ernst & Young). (PR)

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