Students of Da’ok Academy and Saipan Southern High recently welcomed Marianas Tourism Education Council to their campuses to learn about Marianas tourism and how students can participate in the industry.
Approximately 100 students at the schools learned about tourism and hospitality from MTEC chair Vicky Benavente, MTEC board member Catherine Perry, and Marianas Visitors Authority community programs specialist Jack Aranda.
“I have to commend the students of both schools for being attentive and interested in learning about tourism, how it affects their daily lives, and how they can become involved in the one industry that affects everyone,” said Benavente. “Based on the feedback they provided, it’s clear that they’re grasping the concept that ‘Tourism is Everybody’s Business.’ We hope they will take our suggestion to begin exploring their future in tourism even at a young age.”
This year’s theme, “VolunTOURISM: Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow,” reflects the opportunities available to students to engage with the industry and to prepare for the leadership roles they will take in the future. Perry gave an overview of the Marianas tourism industry and shared examples of how students can volunteer while still in high school or participate in tourism events and explore industry career paths through various public and private programs. Aranda shared about the role of the state tourism office, with emphasis on marketing and promotions conducted in the Marianas major source markets, as well as annual signature events organized by the MVA.
“It was my first-hand experience as a waitstaff that taught me the value and importance of tourism,” said Aranda, a graduate of Saipan Southern High School who started working in the industry while still in high school. “My interest in the field of hospitality and tourism has led me to pursue a career at MVA, to further my knowledge in an industry that is vital to our economy.”
Following the presentations, students were quizzed and received branded giveaways.
MTEC’s Education Outreach program targets the 5th, 8th, and 10th graders each year on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota in partnership with the MVA. The presentations are also sponsored by the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, Kanoa Resort Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Ernst & Young, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, and T Galleria.
MTEC and the Marianas Visitors Authority will host the MY WAVE Club Tourism Summit on Jan. 23, 2020, for an estimated 300-400 school MY WAVE Club students at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.
For more information about the Tourism Summit, contact Martin Duenas or Aranda at the MVA at 664-3200/3201, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. (PR)