17 Jul 2014
- By Junhan B. Todiño - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
TOUR operators on Saipan have expressed interest in the Northern Islands, especially Pagan, as a tourist destination, Pacific Development Inc. director Gordon Marciano said.
“It’s about time to look at the northern frontier,” Marciano told Discover Pagan 2014 planners Jerome Aldan, the Northern Islands mayor’s office chief of staff, and consultant former Rep. William Torres.
Marciano said PDI has been including the Northern Islands in its promotional activities.
He said high-end customers and trekking groups are interested to go on an eco-tourism tour in the Northern Islands.
“But the question has always been raised — who’s going to take us there?” he said, adding that inadequate transportation to the Northern Islands has been a challenge for tour operators on Saipan.
Marciano also noted the Northern Islands’ potential for sugarcane farming.
Variety was told that Pagan had a population 8,000 when it was developed by the Japanese administration for the sugarcane industry.
Marciano said the mayor’s office is aggressively promoting the Northern Islands, but the government should provide transportation.
“The transportation issue has not been fully addressed,” he added.
Currently, private ocean transportation vessels have been servicing the Northern Islands on a charter basis while Star Marianas and Arctic Circle provide charter flights.
According to Marciano, there are “lots of ways the government could ignite the interest of tourists in visiting the Northern Islands — we just have to be innovative and creative.”
He said he is very optimistic of the potential for adventure cruises to the Northern Islands.