TACLOBAN CITY- Promoting the region’s tourism potential as a whole is one of the programs that Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla wants to implement this year.
And as part of his plan, a tourism center will be constructed at the Government Center located in Barangay Baras, Palo, where tourist destinations of the region will be showcased and promoted.
“Those who will visit it will just check the place where they can go in the region and avail of the packages offered. We may not be as popular like other places in the Philippines but we wanted to make a statement that our services here are comparable to what they offer,” he said.
“Tourism increases productivity and helps develop economy to become more vibrant (and) support our anti-poverty program,” the governor added.
Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan, meantime, said that she is glad that officials of her province realized the tourism potential of their respective areas.
But the aggressiveness of the local government units to promote their areas for tourism must be carefully planned and gaps should be addressed first to ensure sustainable tourism, she said.
The governor acknowledges the problems on accessibility and security as among the factors that might affect in promoting Samar as a tourism destination.
“We need to address these problems including other needs of our tourists like on food supply and souvenir items,” Gov. Tan said.
Tan added that this year, the provincial government is preparing additional areas in the province to be included of its tourism campaign dubbed as Spark Samar launched in 2015.
For this year, the provincial government will include the towns of Calbiga, Jiabong, San Jorge and Calbayog City as part of the Spark Samar campaign.
The towns of Basey, Marabut, Sta Rita, Pinabacdao and Paranas were the first areas in the province included of its Spark Samar campaign.
“We cannot just go for marketing if the place is not yet ready. Our efforts will just be a waste if we will not succeed,” Gov. Tan stressed.
The regional Department of Tourism targets a double digit increase of its tourism arrivals in 2016 for this year.
Last year, more than 1 million tourists visited the region contributing to its economy of P9 billion. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)