MVA begins work on tour guide certification program


Following the enactment of Public Law 18-58, the Marianas Visitors Authority has begun drafting regulations for the certification of tour operators and tour guides, with program implementation anticipated by early next year.

“Setting a standard for tour operators and tour guides is long overdue for our industry, and the MVA welcomes the enactment of Public Law 18-58,” said MVA managing director Perry Tenorio. “The regulation of operators and guides is necessary to ensure the quality of service and care of visitors to the Northern Marianas is at the highest level.”

Upon the publication of draft regulations in the public registry, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed program. In addition to the development of regulations, the MVA will need to develop curriculum, testing, and means of enforcement, as well as provide adequate staffing for the program.

The MVA is reviewing proposed tour guide curriculum drafted several years ago in conjunction with Northern Marianas College. Tenorio said the MVA is also looking at the certification program in Guam and other jurisdictions to help develop the CNMI program.

“Our board of directors realizes the importance of this new responsibility, especially when it comes to ensuring our visitors are safe, receiving accurate information about our islands, and receiving the full value of a memorable experience when they visit,” said Tenorio. “We will be seeking the input of our tourism partners over the next several months as we work to develop a program that will achieve that goal.”

Under the new law, MVA now has to regulate the tour industry “through the issuance of certifications to tour operators and tourist land/sea transport operators attesting to their compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements for engaging in the tour operator and tourist land/sea transport operators business and tour guides through the issuance of certifications attesting to a minimum [proficiency] in the English language and their successful completion and training in the history, culture, and scenic attractions of the CNMI.” (MVA)

Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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