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Northern Marianas to hire Taiwanese to promote travel (update)

Northern Marianas to hire Taiwanese to promote travel (update)

Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, is recruiting a tourism ambassador from Taiwan for the second year in a row, its Visitors Authority office in Taipei said Monday. The tourism ambassador will be selected by means of an "Intern to Marianas" campaign and will be paid NT$60,000 (US$2,000) to travel throughout the island chain for a week and receive training as a tour guide, the office said. Sunny Lin, a 50-year-old dance teacher who was selected last year from a field of 395 applicants, said it was a great experience to visit the Northern Mariana Islands, which lie about 2,750 kilometers southeast of Taiwan and are touted as "America's Best Kept Secret." "I will recommend diving in the Blue Hole and enjoying the ice-cold water all day," she said. This year's ambassador will continue Lin's job, participating in local activities and seminars to promote tourism in the territory back in Taiwan, officials said. About 600 Taiwanese visited the Northern Marianas last year, said office director Milane Tsai, and she expressed hopes that the number will double in 2015. Taiwan used to be an important source of visitors to the islands, with around 10,000 Taiwanese tourists traveling there per year in the early 1990s, according to the office. But the number has dropped significantly over the past decade, falling to around 400 in 2012, due largely to the 2007 closure of the Northern Marianas representative office in Taiwan. The office reopened in 2013. The training will involve a tour of several attractions in the West Pacific island chain, including the path 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 officials said. To participate, candidates who are over 17 years of age should upload a self-introduction video to YouTube and provide their personal information and reason for participating in the competition in a separate e-mail to the office by Feb. 20. Only Republic of China passport holders can enter the competition, the office said, adding that a shortlist of 14 candidates will be selected on March 1 after a review by the committee, which will comprise representatives of the authority and tourism offices from other countries. The selected candidates' videos work will then be put online throughout March for a public vote. Three finalists will be chosen March 31 based on a combination of their Internet popularity and the committee's preferences. The three candidates will then be interviewed by the authority on April 15, with the winner announced immediately afterward. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-25 22:44 GMT+08:00