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