Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio will recommend to the tourism body’s board to focus on destination enhancement projects on the south side of Saipan.
“Improvement on tourist sites are still ongoing. We have three high-end ticket projects that we are focusing on, but we are also working to improve other tourist sites,” Tenorio said.
Lawmakers earlier recommended that MVA not only focus on the north end of the island but the south end as well.
“The biggest challenge with the south area and beaches there is accessibility to the beach. However, I suppose we can have a discussion with our board and Department of Public Works to prevent seasonal damage to those roads and facilitate access to Obyan Beach, Ladder Beach, and Lao Lao Beach,” Tenorio said.
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang told Saipan Tribune that they are assisting with the south side of the island and are planning on clearing the road leading to the beaches.
“We’re focusing on Forbidden Island first, because we already finished the two other beaches in Kagman. We will move to Obyan and then Lao Lao and other south side beaches that tourists go to,” Apatang said.
Earlier Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Guerreo (R-Saipan) told Tenorio that maybe he can discuss and consider putting up funds to fix those roads.
“Tourist that go to the south side area would park their cars and walk down to Obyan. This would entice criminal activities to break into the cars and we have to keep in mind that we want the tourists to be safe,” Guerrero said.
Tenorio said that MVA is aware that there are areas on the island that tourists visit but are not openly available to mass visits with buses.
“We can discuss and consider expanding our destination enhancement and include those as our future tourist sites,” Tenorio said.
Tenorio noted that MVA’s destination enhancement committee is currently focused on the relighting of the Beach Road pathway, the “Flower Island” project, and the Banzai Cliff renovation projects. Smaller projects include the fixing of the railways at Banzai, Bird Island, and other tourist sites.
One other smaller project is the renovation of the Last Command Post bathroom, so that Banzai Cliff’s bathroom will be closed and MVA will inform tour operators to tell their guests that the Last Command Post will be the only stop for bathroom breaks in Marpi.