The Marianas Visitors Authority celebrated the opening of its representative office in Taiwan yesterday by launching a campaign to choose a tourism ambassador for the US commonwealth in Taiwan.
The winner of the “Intern to Marianas” campaign will be paid NT$60,000 to travel around the Northern Mariana Islands for a week and receive training as a tour guide, the office said.
The training will involve a tour of several attractions in the West Pacific island chain, including the route of the annual Saipan Marathon, World War II relics on the island of Tinian and the natural swimming hole on the island of Rota.
The “intern” will become the authority’s tourism ambassador in Taiwan, participating in local activities or seminars to promote tourism in the Marianas, a chain of islands about 2,750km southeast of Taiwan, officials said.
The Marianas hope that the campaign will revive interest in the island chain, managing director Perry Tenorio said.
“We want to see Taiwan become part of our market base,” Tenorio said, adding that Taiwan is the fourth East Asian country in which the authority established a representative office, after Japan, South Korea and China.
Taiwan used to be an important source of visitors to the islands, with about 10,000 Taiwanese visiting the islands per year in the early 1990s, Tenorio said.
However, the number has dropped significantly over the past decade, falling to about 400 last year.
Tenorio said the goal of the commonwealth’s office in Taiwan is to restore the flow of Taiwanese visitors to levels seen in the 1990s.
The campaign to choose an intern began yesterday and will run until Jan. 14 next year. For details, go to the Web site www.mymarianas.com and click on the Chinese language icon.