‘We all represent the Marianas’
As the CNMI celebrates Marianas Tourism Month this May, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres reminds the community that we all play a part in tourism and urged everyone to continue to keep the islands clean.
Speaking at the proclamation signing last May 4, Torres said there are a lot of key factors behind “what tourism means.” “Each one of us represent the Marianas. …We need to keep our islands clean; we really do. When we go to the beach, [and] if we can clean up more than ourselves, [then] that’s better for all of us,” he said.
Torres said cleaning the environment is also showcasing the islands to incoming tourist, and “It’s the only way that we can get our tourism back.”
Torres said his administration, the Marianas Visitors Authority, the Tourism Resumption Task Force of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Hotel Association of the NMI, and tour agencies are working together to push hard in making the CNMI into a world-class-destination. “It’s going to be a long process for us to get our tourism back, but we are prioritizing all of the efforts [and] the resources that we have so we can bring [tourist] back. …Together, we can,” Torres said.
Also speaking at the proclamation, MVA board vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said now is the time to build up awareness of the CNMI economy. Because the economy is mainly driven by tourism and as part of Tourism Month, the community should “challenge each other and go out and visit the [tourist] sites. [We] should familiarize ourselves with what we have as a product.”
“We should know, whether or not we were there, or grandparents were there, our great grandparents, etc. Each of us, whether it’s [the] oldest generation to the youngest generation, we should know what each of these monuments mean. We should know what happened at this beach to make it this way. We should know the importance of this site,” said Cavanagh.
She challenges not only MVA and the people that was present at the proclamation but also the community to go out and learn what the CNMI’s product really is, because “tourism is everybody’s business.”
Not only do tourist sites need revitalizing, not only does the ocean replenishes the marine resources, but everyone needs to have some sort of revitalization and replenishment in knowing what our product is, Cavanagh said.
“[I challenge] the community to go out and learn what our product really is, because tourism is everybody’s business. In order to be part of that, you need to know what our product is. …We must know that we are the Marianas, and the Marianas is Mariana strong,” said Cavanagh.
The Torres-Palacios administration has declared May as Marianas Tourism Month, in recognition of the vital role tourism plays in the economy of the CNMI.