DOT wants tourism momentum in Albay to continue

December 1, 2015 11:21 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Nov 30 (PNA) — The province of Albay will have to keep the strong momentum in tourism going in order to succeed in drawing in more tourism arrivals, receipts and in generating more jobs for its citizens.

This, a tourism official said, is what the local government of Albay will have to keep in mind following its success in hosting the recently concluded Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Forum in Legazpi, Albay last Nov 25 to 27.

“(Albay) has less than a million visitors a year but the potential is way beyond that,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told reporters in an interview.

“Albay must continue to promote itself not just internationally but across the country,” he added, noting that more Filipinos should see the province.

He also pointed out that Albay, home to the “butanding” (whale shark) and other endemic species, is slowly positioning itself on the global map for being at the forefront of ecotourism.

”In the past, locals had to hunt whale sharks for food. Now, they are taking care of them because they are the focus of much concern and interest in the world,” he said. “The fact is they are a tourist attraction is a huge leap.”

Data from DOT-V showed that Albay acquired a total of 958, 931 visitors in 2014. Of that number, 634,599 were domestic and 324,332 were foreign.

Albay governor Joey Salceda previously told reporters that he targets a 14 percent growth in arrivals by yearend. To date, the PATA alone has generated around 560 visitors.

Salceda also said that he expects more tourists to visit the province with the opening of the Bicol International Airport in 2018. Its initial target was to open the airport by 2016.

To recall, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) earlier this month offered bidders the Php780.92 contract to build facilities at the airport. Bid documents will be available until Dec. 8.

“We are only waiting to award the contract,” the economist governor said.

Jimenez echoed Salceda’s statement expressing confidence that plans for the country’s tourism industry will continue even after the Aquino administration.

“We had property issues, bidding issues,” the DOT said, referring to the airport. “But delayed as it is, the good intentions and brilliant plans we have put together should hopefully continue.” (PNA)



One Response to “DOT wants tourism momentum in Albay to continue”

  1. cecil abarrientos on December 2nd, 2015 3:50 pm

    i hope albay could also come up with the strategy of lowering the accomodation, food and fare rates for tourists and locals.