Visited some of EV’s tourist attractions

INOPACAN, Leyte – A group of tourism and city officials from Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) visited some of the tourist attractions of the region and observed its best practices relative to tourism.
In particular, the visiting officials would like to know how the booming cruise tourism of the region could be replicated on their area.
Their visit to this town coincided with the arrival of an international cruise ship, M/S L’Austral, which had 200 foreign tourists on board last week.
Zamboanga Peninsula Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said that just like Eastern Visayas, the Mindanao region could also cash in on cruise tourism.
Tiopes, who was once the regional tourism director of Eastern Visayas, said that Zamboanga Peninsula could be a good marketed for cruise tourism becuase of its rich historical, heritage and cultural diversity which tourists will truly love and enjoy.
“Zamboanga Peninsula is in Mindanao; medyo malalim lang ang kultura because we have a lot of indigenous peoples, the Muslim people. So actually we have three group of people who are living harmoniously,” she said.
“I said harmoniously because the conflict there are just a pocket conflict and we tend to look at the conflict more than what is really real which is people living together well and harmoniously,” Tiopes added.
For Svetlana Jalosjos of the Dakak Resort and Properties, said that they are excited to learn about the cruise tourism of the region saying that this could be replicated on their region.
“We always thought that it is possible but to see it in action is so empowering because it doesn’t take so much but just imagination and of course cooperation between the local government unit, the Department of Tourism, and the private sector and this is I think the perfect mix where we see it work hand-in-hand in a successful form,” she said.
“This is something that we envisioned for our place and aspire towards and now we see it is so much doable,” Jalosjos added.
Zamboanga Peninsula, while boosting several natural and historical attractions, is plague with security problems which is affecting its tourism industry.
“May tourist attractions naman tayo dun but due to martial law, Marawi siege, medyo nag-decline. But now it is recuperating slowly and we just have to come with new strategy that is why are here to learn what DOT in Region 8 is doing so we can duplicate it our place,” Dapitan City Councilor Danny Estacio said.
“You see ang tourism kasi is never ending yan.You have to learn it is a learning process and tourism now is a big industry we could give income to our local constituents, economic activity that could spur, improve their standard of living,” he added.
After witnessing how cruise tourism works, during their June 19 to 24 visit, the group went to Baybay City where they visited the 16,000 Blossoms at Linta-on Peak, Ormoc City; Biliran to benchmark on its farm-tourism, and Samar where they visit the towns of Paranas for the Olot Torpedo Boat Ride and the Sohoton Cave in Basey, both are model for community-based tourism in Eastern Visayas.