08 Dec 2014
- By Junhan B. Todiño - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
PROVIDING more transportation is among the plans of Mayor-elect Jerome Aldan for the Northern Islands.
“Regular transport will generate interest in the Northern Islands among the people, including tourists, adventurers and residents,” he said.
As one of the planners and advocates for the Northern Islands resettlement and development program, he said he already has a long-term program for transportation.
Aside from the vessel Super Emerald, Luta Mermaid Inc.’s MV Luta can also provide transportation to and from the Northern Islands, Aldan added.
He said they may also acquire the services of a tug boat servicing the prepositioning ships on Saipan.
He believes that once tourists begin regular visits to the remote islands, the resettlement program there will be eventually achieved.
He did not say where the funding for his plans will come from, but said he will not only encourage settlements on Pagan but also on the other islands of the “northern frontier.”
He said they will continue to work with cruise liners to bring more tourists to Pagan.
“The helicopter is an option for transportation but it’s expensive,” he said. There is also a four-seat plane that can transport passengers to the Northern Islands, he added.
Aldan said he will try to implement the programs discussed in the 2012 Northern Islands Summit, and these include the economic re-development ventures that will help promote self-help investment activities, private business ventures including engaging venture capitalists and exploring opportunities for public-private sector partnerships.
He also mentioned Herman Cabrera’s eco-tourism venture proposal that will be established next year on Pagan.
“We have no more time to waste on planning, but have to begin implementing the programs. No more talking; it’s action we need now,” Aldan said.
Other activities in the Northern Islands that he thinks will attract more tourists are a yacht race and a cliffline fishing derby.
Aldan said he will also pursue the plan to improve farming activities, either traditional or non-traditional, seaweed farming and the caged fishing project.
The northern frontier, he said, may be a feasible location for growing orchids and other exotic flowers.
“We can establish a botanical bonanza and culture some flowers,” he added.
Moreover, Aldan plans to plant dragon fruit and coconuts.
Making the northern frontier the chocolate capital of Pacific region may also be possible with the cultivation of cacao, he added.
In addition, Aldan said he will pursue the development of a film industry in the Northern Islands, but this will involve collaboration with the Commonwealth Development Authority, the Marianas Visitors Authority and Northern Marianas College.
He said he will also work closely with the U.S. Department of the Interior implementing his programs.