THE Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers is on Tinian this weekend for its monthly meeting and the council’s Public Private Partnership project. Both events seek to actively engage Tinian in discussions about its important role in the efforts to promote the Marianas as a “Multi-Island Integrated Destination.”
Research commissioned by the GCEA showed there’s a new trend among travelers, which has been influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Travelers are opting for fewer but longer trips, which places the Marianas in a good position to offer enriching, longer-stay experiences to visitors through our unique culture, history, pristine natural beauty, and warm hospitality of all our islands.
With Tinian’s proximity to Saipan, its landmarks, and its ability to host cultural and sports events, it has the potential to attract visitors looking to spend a day or two of their vacation before moving to another Marianas location. VisitTheUSA.com sums up the wonders of Tinian as, “A must-see for a real beach bum, dive fanatic, or history buff, Tinian is perfect for spending a night or two.”
Tinian holds a place in World War II history, as it served as the launching point of the Enola Gay, a U.S. military aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which eventually helped end the seven-year bloodshed across the globe. The North Field, the launch pit of the Enola Gay, will remain a must-see site for history buffs. North Field can be packaged as a tour that provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the historical site and learn more about peace education. In Japan, one of the Marianas’ most significant markets, peace education is part of the country’s curriculum, as it encourages students to visit war memorials to reflect on the costs of war and value the price for peace.
Besides its WWII landmark, Tinian is also home to the House of Taga, the well-known archeological site of large, ancient latte stones. The commissioned research explored the potential of the House of Taga and suggested including immersive activities, such as ancient meal preparation demonstrations conducted by docents in historical clothing. The House of Taga continues to be a major attraction even to the local community, giving Tinian immense potential to offer a highly interactive and exceptional experience for visitors.
Tinian’s Taga Beach is another great attraction for snorkeling, swimming, and cliff diving. Taga Beach could use some renovations and maintenance work to replace its railings and stairs for safety and accessibility. We welcome groups to consider adopting this site as a PPP location and follow the example of GCEA member and Tinian resident Don Power, who is leading the efforts in clearing shorelines and the old Japanese processing plant.
Tinian has other beautiful beaches and pristine jungles and terrains that could be appealing for people who are interested in nature experiences, adventure sports, and other competitions. For more than a decade, Tinian hosted the Turquoise Blue Triathlon, which drew hundreds of Kaike Triathlon and the KFC Triathlon Club of Japan members. The Turquoise Blue Triathlon was usually held during the same weekend as the Tinian Hot Pepper Festival, one of the Marianas Visitors Authority’s signature events. Also known as the Pika Festival, the event could be expanded beyond highlighting donne’ sali (hot peppers) to include more local cuisine to lure an even bigger draw.
The GCEA believes in Tinian’s strong potential to contribute to the Marianas’ “Multi-Island Integrated Destination” campaign. A more reliable air and sea transportation system would make it easier for Tinian to capitalize on these tourism-driven economic opportunities and provide a better quality of life for its residents. Changes will not happen overnight, but Tinian has taken the first step toward this breakthrough by joining GCEA’s destination and village facilities transformation initiative. The community is rallying together to take ownership of the island’s treasured sites. Together, we can realize the potential of a more sustainable and inclusive visitor industry that can directly benefit our residents. For more information, visit the GCEA on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at email@example.com
Mike Sablan is vice president of Triple J Enterprises Inc. and chairperson of the Domestic Policy and Recovery Committee of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers. As an advisory council for Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, the GCEA’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the Marianas for all residents.