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10 tour guides complete MVA certification program

TEN Japanese tour guides recently completed the Marianas Visitors Authority’s tour guide certification program, MVA tour guide certification manager Kuen-Hee Han said on Thursday.

They are Mari S. Bernardo, Keiko Ojima, Sachiyo H. Gorge, Kaori Osanai, Kaori, Takahashi, Leopoldo Ona Rodriquez, Palokoa S. Mongkeya, Taro Kubo, Tomohiko Nishida and Masaru Sunaga.

Han said the tour guides completed 20 hours of class instruction at Northern Marianas College in CNMI History, CNMI Geography, CNMI Rules and Regulations, Principles of Tour Guiding/Tour Operations, Tour Guide Customer Service, Tour Guide Safety & Security, Protecting the Environment, and CNMI Culture and Legends.

“Most of them are long-time workers in the tourism industry,” Han said.

MVA Managing Director Chris Concepcion said they are very pleased with the progress of the program.

Of the 311 who have applied so far, 191 are now certified official Marianas guides, he added.

“We also have 78 licensed tour operators.  Slowly but surely we are making progress in streamlining our tourism industry and getting our guides and operators up to par and in line with international standards,” Concepcion said.

He also commended NMC for spearheading the educational aspect of the program.

“We encourage all unlicensed guides and operators to come into compliance or risk being cited.  We still have a long way to go but with support from the community, we will get there,” he said.

Han said the certification program was first introduced in Oct. 2017, and turnout has been good.

Only 24 tour guides at a time can attend the certification program class, Han added.

According to MVA, it is collaborating with the Department of Public Safety, the Saipan Zoning Office and the Bureau of Environment and Coastal Management in going after  illegal and uncertified tour guides in the CNMI.

Violations may result in monetary sanctions, revocation of a certification and/or business license or equitable sanctions.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103669-10-tour-guides-complete-mva-certification-program

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