ABOUT THE PPP PROGRAM
Photo courtesy of Marianas Visitors Authority
In 2020 when tourism arrivals ceased in The Marianas due to the COVID pandemic, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers saw an opportunity for leaders and residents to reimagine The Marianas’ tourism product that is offered to the world. The council’s vision included building synergies between public and private stakeholders to transform parks and tourism sites while helping to alleviate the burden on government resources that were already strained due to the ongoing pandemic response and diminishing revenues.
A majority of The Marianas’ community facilities were in poor condition after sustaining damage from back-to-back typhoons and a lack of maintenance throughout the years. It was through the vision of GCEA Co-chairman Jerry Tan that the idea for the Public Private Partnership initiative was born. After the initial assessment of the islands’ facilities, the council found dilapidated community parks and pavilions, public restrooms, condemned social halls, unusable baseball fields, and forgotten basketball courts, and many other facilities that were essential to restore for the community.
Through the PPP campaign, the GCEA has engaged civic, cultural, and educational organizations, government leaders, agencies, private businesses, and other members of the community to come together to transform not just tourism sites but also key facilities at the village level. Their response was astounding. One year later, the GCEA has enlisted the help of more than 50 organizations that have committed to adopting more than 50 sites in Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. On any given weekend, PPP Partners are improving the Commonwealth one task, park, and facility at a time.
THE MISSION OF THE PPP PROGRAM
The PPP program is one of the council’s top initiatives and priorities and was created to foster partnerships throughout the community to benefit The Marianas’ tourism products and to greater facilitate tourism destination enhancements and maintenance. Equally, improvements to the parks and facilities provide safer and more enjoyable experiences for the Commonwealth’s residents.
A PPP in this context would potentially allow for necessary capital investments to The Marianas’ parks and tourism sites, such as lighting, restroom facilities, pathway development, and other amenities that increase the value of the site for potential visitors and residents alike. In partnering with the private sector toward allocating the resources for the development of these products, the CNMI government can take on targeted responsibilities for simple maintenance and upkeep.
Read more about the Development and Maintenance of CNMI Parks and Tourist Sites initiative here.
All Public Private Partnership projects are made possible by the support of the Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan’s public benefit fund with the Dept. of Public Lands.