Among all high schoolers who penned their thoughts for the Marianas Visitors Authority’s May Tourism Month essay contest, Jermaine Chloe Yulang of Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr. Sr. High School has won top honors for her submission.
The theme “Power of Travel: COVID19 Impact and Tourism Recovery in The Marianas” invited students to describe how COVID-19 has impacted the Marianas tourism community and share their thoughts how the Marianas should move forward with tourism recovery.
“The role that traveling plays in the Marianas is immense, especially in supporting our local businesses, environment, and native cultures,” wrote Yulang. “Tourism impacts our local businesses by supplementing our low population and creating job opportunities. The Marianas’ well-maintained natural environment is partly due to the efforts to keep them presentable for the tourists. Learning about native cultures allows tourists to learn new things and carry that culture with them throughout their lives. Almost all areas of the Marianas are affected by travel.”
Rechucher Kaito of Mt. Carmel School noted the role each individual has to play in reviving tourism and making the Marianas a better place to live.
“Today, businesses are closing down due to loss of customer, the beaches are empty, and the economy has crumbled,” wrote Kaito. “We as the Marianas is [sic] not only attractive to the tourists because of the scenery and environment, but also the people. Everyone can put in a little bit of love to the environment, which will bring big changes, making significant differences. Community service, voluntary work, effort in making the environment look clean can also help in making our lives better. I believe that with Saipan’s unique cultures, we can revive the tourism in due time making ourselves even more attractive.”
Third place winner Leyonne F. Tolentino of Mt. Carmel School emphasized the need to balance the needs of tourists, the people, the community and the environment in reviving tourism.
“The Marianas should move forward with the tourism industry by prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in the community, and make sure that health policies are being well coordinated to protect the workers and tourists,” said Tolentino. “Inform our market about how successful we are in combating transmission of the virus in our community so the tourists have confidence in visiting the Marianas. Rethink how tourism interacts with our society, government agency, and natural resources, so we can manage the way we want to market it better.”
Cash prizes were awarded to the winners: $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place. The contest was open to all public and private school students grades 9-12 in the Marianas. (MVA)