Samar to jumpstart tourism promotion this summer

February 16, 2015 2:19 pm 

By Roel T. Amazona

CATBALOGAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PNA) — The provincial government of Samar will jumpstart its tourism promotion program, which will focus first in four towns of the province.

In a meeting held at the provincial capitol building conference room presided by Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-de los Santos, local officials had set this year’s summer months to kick off their intensive tourism promotion.

Listed as priority are Marabut, Basey, Sta Rita and Paranas tagged as market-ready for tourists.

Marabut town in Samar province is famous for its natural rock formation and beaches. The nearby town of Basey town is known for the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, caves, 17th century Church, Buscada and Mt. Carmel Chapel, Jinamoc Island, the Guintolian Tower, Balintawak Falls and the Golden River.

In Paranas town, the Ulot River Extreme Boat Ride has been drawing tourists. Whereas, the town of Sta Rita, boosts the magnificent view of San Juanico Bridge and San Juanico Strait, the narrowest strait in the world.

The area is being promoted by the provincial government as organic farming hub in Samar.

“We are already half-way in our campaign and these towns are already tourism ready. It would be hard if we just let go now of this program when we are already near the end of our campaign,” Governor Tan-de los Santos said.

If the result is positive, the provincial government will replicate the program to other towns in the province with potential for eco-tourism development.

The lady governor stressed during the meeting that the provincial government will only start the promotion drive and eventually the private sector such as the ABS-CBN Foundation will ensure the sustainability.

Toto Cinco, a consultant of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Eastern Visayas suggested during the meeting to target domestic tourists first in the campaign considering that 70 percent of visitors in the region are locals.

Representative from business group said they will encourage local businessmen to invest in tourism relation facilities as it will not only generate income for them, but also provide livelihood opportunities to the community.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police assured that tourist will be given proper security when they visit destinations in four towns that are being promoted by the provincial government.

Some remote villages in the province remain as one of the stronghold of armed communist rebels.

Samar police provincial director Nolasco Bathan said they will deploy tourist police to four towns and will activate the barangay law enforcement team to boost security.

The army will also assign personnel near the jump-off point of tourist especially in Paranas town for security and apprehend logs and lumber illegally cut in the areas covered by Samar Island National Park.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional director Leonardo Sibbaluca, whose agency has the control in all activities inside the SINP, said that he is optimistic that this will be a success with the help of all local government units involved.

On Feb. 21, the Samar governor and DOT regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes will conduct site inspection in Ulot river.

Another meeting will be held by the Samar tourism council on Feb. 23 where towns tagged as priority areas are expected to present their tour packages to the provincial government.(PNA)



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