‘Best in­tern­ship in the world’ goes to Ta-Ming Se­nior High School teacher

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A high school teacher beat two other fi­nal­ists Wed­nes­day to win what is be­ing touted by the or­ga­niz­ers as the “best In­tern­ship in the world” to the North­ern Mar­i­ana Is­lands to pro­mote travel there.

The 25-year-old stood out from a to­tal of 415 contestants af­ter three rounds of com­pe­ti­tion, and said that she is ex­cited to get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in tourism pro­mo­tion to share with her stu­dents at the Ta-Ming Se­nior High School who plan to ma­jor in hos­pi­tal­ity man­age­ment.

“I am go­ing to live up to my sup­port­ers’ ex­pec­ta­tions by pro­mot­ing Mar­i­anas so that Tai­wanese will want to ex­pe­ri­ence the place for them­selves,” she said.

Lai will be paid NT$60,000 (US$2,000) to travel through­out the U.S. ter­ri­tory in the Pa­cific for a week and re­ceive train­ing as a tour guide, ac­cord­ing to the Mar­i­anas’ Vis­i­tors Author­ity of­fice in Taipei.

The train­ing will in­volve a tour of sev­eral at­trac­tions in the West Pa­cific is­land chain, in­clud­ing the route of the an­nual Saipan Marathon, World War II relics on the is­land of Tinian, and a nat­u­ral swim­ming hole on the is­land of Rota, the of­fi­cials said.

She will also par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties and seminars to pro­mote tourism in the ter­ri­tory back in Tai­wan, the of­fi­cials said.

About 600 Tai­wanese vis­ited the North­ern Mar­i­anas last year, said of­fice direc­tor Mi­lane Tsai, ex­press­ing hopes that the num­ber will dou­ble in 2015 through cam­paigns like this.

Tai­wan used to be an im­por­tant source of vis­i­tors to the is­lands, with around 10,000 Tai­wanese tourists trav­el­ing there per year in the early 1990s, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice.

But the num­ber has dropped sig­nif­i­cantly over the past decade, fall­ing to around 400 in 2012, due largely to the 2007 clo­sure of the North­ern Mar­i­anas rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Tai­wan. The of­fice re­opened in 2013.

CNA

Lai I-nien ( ), 25, cel­e­brates her victory at a con­test held by the Mar­i­anas Vis­i­tors Author­ity of­fice in Taipei yes­ter­day. Lai yes­ter­day beat out over 400 contestants to win “the best in­tern­ship in the world,” a one-week stint on the North­ern Mar­i­ana Is­lands. Lai will be paid NT$60,000 to travel through the is­lands and be trained as a tour guide, or­ga­niz­ers said.

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