MTEC, MVA work to turn students’ attention to tourism
The Marianas Tourism Education Council and Marianas Visitors Authority have visited three elementary schools this month to direct students’ attention to the tourism industry.
The outreach team met with MY WAVE Club members of Oleai Elementary on March 6, fifth graders at San Vicente Elementary on March 7, and about 150 fourth and fifth graders of Kagman Elementary on March 8 to teach students about the Marianas’ primary economic driver, how it impacts their lives, and ways students can support tourism even at a young age.
MY WAVE stands for Marianas Youth Welcome All Visitors Enthusiastically.
Using “tourism turner” giveaways, known commonly as fidget spinners, the team invited students to respond with a spin to questions about Marianas tourism, beach cleanups and other activities students have participated in, those who have family members working in various sectors of the industry, and more.
The outreach was conducted by MTEC acting chair Vicky Benavente, MTEC board member Catherine Perry, and MVA Community Projects specialist Jack Aranda.
“The MTEC understands that it’s been tough for a couple of years for these students. By using these fun ‘tourism turners,’ we hope to keep them focused on the positive aspects of our islands’ number one industry,” said Benavente.
Members of the MY WAVE Club at Oleai Elementary also shared the results of one of their recent activities, turtle paintings that they hope to have displayed at a local hotel or other business that visitors frequent.
MTEC and the MVA aim to visit all public schools this school year with the message, “Tourism is Everybody’s Business.” The MTEC presentation includes information on the number visitor arrivals, source markets, travel motivations, the benefits of tourism, careers in travel and tourism, and ideas on how students can engage with tourism. The MVA presentation covers the mandate of the office and the work of its divisions, especially marketing and community projects.
Other MTEC board members are Martin Duenas (MVA), Dr. Galvin Guerrero (Northern Marianas College), Larry Lee, Naomi Nishimura (CNMI Public School System), Glenn Policare (Kanoa Resort Saipan), and Gordon Marciano (PDI). Dr. Yunzi Zhang of Northern Marianas College School of Business also volunteers with the council.
Any business interested in showcasing the Oleai Elementary School turtle paintings may contact MY WAVE Club adviser Don Felix Taisacan at email@example.com. (MTEC)