MTEC, MVA wrap up school visits with Rota

Posted on May 04 2023


Marianas Visitors Authority community projects specialist Jack Aranda addresses students at Dr. Rita S. Inos Jr./Sr. High School on April 19, 2023, and shares about the functions of the state tourism office. (MVA)

The Marianas Tourism Education Council and Marianas Visitors Authority wrapped up their series of annual school presentations about tourism and the state tourism office with a visit to Rota on April 19, 2023.

MTEC board member Catherine Perry, MVA community projects specialist Jack Aranda, and MVA Rota acting grounds supervisor David Atalig visited Dr. Rita S. Inos Jr./Sr. High in the morning. As Rota has very limited visitor arrivals, the team invited students to discuss the reasons for the limited number of visitors and possible solutions, the potential of the military market in Guam, the unique experiences and attractions that they and their families could offer visitors, and students’ vision for the future of their island community and economy.

“Having a program like MTEC explaining tourism in the Marianas and spreading awareness on why it is so important to keep our island clean is truly important, because these students are the future of our islands,” said Atalig. “It was great seeing the students so interactive and interested in what the speakers were saying. I feel really honored to have been a part of the presentations.”

Atalig shared about upcoming events on Rota for May Tourism Month and the Beautify My Marianas program. The team also visited Sinapalo Elementary in the afternoon.

“MTEC, in partnership with the MVA, has concluded this year’s Education Outreach Program,” said MTEC board chair Vicky Benavente. “These past couple of years have been very challenging for the students, with the pandemic and the resulting economic fallout. But at every school and at various age levels, we’ve seen the students’ potential to be a positive force in the community and for the future of our tourism industry.”

Marianas Tourism Education Council board member Catherine Perry, standing, shares about tourism with students of Sinapalo Elementary on April 19, 2023. Joining the presentation, seated in green, is Marianas Visitors Authority Rota acting grounds supervisor David Atalig. (MVA)

The MTEC presentation includes information on the number of visitor arrivals, source markets, travel motivations, the benefits of tourism, careers, 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.

“I’m pleased to see the Marianas Visitors Authority has continued to collaborate with MTEC on these school presentations through the years, which are a hands-on avenue to broaden students’ awareness of the Marianas tourism economy, how it benefits them and their families, and how they can support it,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion, who returned to the helm of the MVA this week. “A sincere dangkulu na si Yu’us ma’ase and ghilisow (thank you) to the principals for allowing us this valuable time. The MVA has seen a steady increase in students’ baseline understanding of tourism since we started this outreach with MTEC several years ago, which means graduating students are more likely to be informed of and involved in the industry.”

Other MTEC board members are vice chair Glenn Policare (Kanoa Resort Saipan), secretary Martin Duenas (MVA), treasurer Yunzi Zhang (Northern Marianas College School of Business), Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero (Northern Marianas College), Larry Lee, Naomi Nishimura (CNMI Public School System), and Gordon Marciano (PDI). (MVA)

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