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‘I welcome criticism,’ says governor

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Saturday said his critics will not stop him from promoting the CNMI, including the Northern Islands, as a tourist destination.

“But I welcome criticism; however, I also want to ask my critics, ‘What is your solution to stimulate the tourism market?’”

While the world is at a standstill because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Torres said, “We brought in Robert Arrington, the “Deer Meat for Dinner” YouTube personality to help promote the entire Northern Marianas.”

He added, “We have zero tourism right now, but we also have this opportunity to reach out to a potential new market so we are going to make this work. We might not see the results immediately, but we are planting the seeds.”

The project initiated by Torres was worth $59,000 and funded through the hotel occupancy tax collections provided to the Marianas Visitors Authority. 

According to naibuzz.com, Arrington’s YouTube channel has over 2.3 million subscribers and has accumulated over 600 million views so far. “It is able to get an average of 500,000 views per day from different sources.”

“For all the critics, what is your solution?” Torres asked. “Who do you propose should come to the Marianas and promote our islands during the pandemic and after?”

On Saturday, Arrington was the guest speaker of Tasi To Table Youth Fishing Club, a community program sponsored by the Saipan Fishermen’s Association.

Arrington talked about how he became a YouTube personality, the videos he has created so far, and the things that he loved to do: deep underwater spear fishing, fishing, hunting, and cooking.

Arrington was also asked about the U.S. military plan for Pagan.

“I do not think that the U.S. military or the U.S. government has any plan to destroy anything that the Marianas is planning on using in a moral, ethical and sustainable way. I see [the] Marianas as a shining gem,” Arrington said.

“I think the military will help make it better. They will want to protect it and they will want to make it better…and they will want to clear the runway and the marina, whatever needs to be there, I think they will be behind that.”

Arrington said the CNMI “has it all: history, culture, and diversity. I have a lot of friends that manufacture products, and they spend more money in developing more new products than marketing the ones that they already have. You already have it, sitting in front of you.”

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