OCIT pushes local tour options

A team from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce/Office of Commerce, Investment and Tourism and the Marshall Islands Resort visited Likiep Atoll in June to meet with Mayor Nicholas deBrum and local officials concerning reviving the Likiep Plantation Haus hotel. They are pictured in front of the Likiep hotel.

A push to activate and expand local business tourism opportunities was initiated earlier this month by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce and its business arm, the Office of Commerce, Investment and Tourism.

June has seen a flurry of outreach by NRC Minister Sandy Alfred and OCIT CEO Carlos Domnick and staff to businesses and local governments engaged or interested in tourism opportunities.

The government team met with boards of directors of Robert Reimers Enterprises and Pacific International Inc., traveled to Likiep to assess the situation of the formerly operating hotel known as the Likiep Plantation Haus, and held meetings regarding opportunities for stimulating tourism activity in Jaluit Atoll, with emphasis on the Lieom Hotel.

Among key outreach:
• The NRC and OCIT team met with RRE CEO Sophia Fowler and board members “to discuss business opportunities and to look at how the Ministry of NRC and OCIT can assist RRE improve its tourism services,” said OCIT CEO Domnick in a report to Cabinet last week.The RRE family has investments not only in Majuro but also Arno and other atolls. “They are open to partnering up or to joint venture with foreign investors to develop idle lands that belong to them,” Domnick said. “They are interested in training opportunities as well to improve skills of their workforce in the tourism industry.” RRE officials also suggested the government put priority on paving runways in Arno to make the atoll more accessible for people who do not want to travel to the nearby atoll by boa

• Minister Alfred and the OCIT team met with PII’s board at its invitation. “As PII is very much involved in the tourism industry, the meeting explored avenues where collaboration can be made to offer travel packages to Kwajalein residents,” said the OCIT report.

• A team involving NRC, MIMRA, OCIT, Marshall Islands Resort and Marshall Islands Development Bank visited Likiep to assess the hotel there in hopes that it could be revitalized as it used to be a hotspot for Kwajalein residents who want to take some rest and relaxation. OCIT said the inspection of the former Likiep Plantation Haus showed that it is not in as poor condition as was previously believed.

“Marshall Islands Resort will renovate and manage the hotel in partnership with the owners,” said OCIT. “Infrastructure that needs to be prioritized are the Likiep airport runway along with the Likiep, Likiep dock.”

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