TACLOBAN CITY- The tourism sector in Eastern Samar is not picking up compare to other provinces in the region.
In fact, the tourism arrivals and its receipts of the province is at the bottom, a depressing situation considering that Eastern Samar possesses natural wonders whose beauties are comparable to other major draws in the country like the Boracay and Siargao, Surigao del Sur, Mayor Mark Biong of Giporlos town, said.
Biong said that if he gets elected as a board member of the province, he want to get the chairmanship of the committee on tourism so he could help promote the tourism industry of the province.
‘We have so much to offer to tourists and yet Eastern Samar’s share on tourist arrivals and receipts only account five percent of the entire region,” Biong said.
“It’s high time to have a share equal to what we have in the province. Our islands are so pristine and clean. We have destinations comparable to popular sites in the Philippines,” he added.
In 2017, for example he said, tourist receipts of the province only reached P684 million sourced from the expenses incurred by the more than 179,000 tourists who visited the different tourist spots of the province.
And this figure slipped further to 4.4 percent by 2018, Biong added.
The outgoing mayor of Giporlos said that if he becomes a board member, he would craft legislative measures that would help enhance and promote the tourism sector of the province.
“I plan to have a massive marketing strategy (to help promote our tourism industry),” he said.
Among the tourism destinations that Biong mentioned that could help attract tourists in the province are Calicoan Island in Guiuan town, Yolanda Beach in Salcedo, Amandaraga Falls in Lawaan, Dangkalan Pacific Beach in Taft, nature parks in Hernani and Balangkayan towns, and the historic Balangiga Bells.
Biong said that what he envisions is for the tourism sector in the province be sustainable and pro-people.
Admitting on the shortcomings on accommodations, Biong said that he would encourage investors to build hotels and lodging inns.
He also said that tourists in the province can be assured of their safety saying that Eastern Samar is peaceful, contrary to public perceptions.