“How ready are your tourism attractions and services?”, this is the challenge of the Department of Tourism Region VI Regional Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas to the tourism officers of the Province of Antique during the recently concluded Northern Antique Cruise Tourism Ocular Inspection.
DOT Region VI has been conducting ocular inspection and dry run of itinerary for new cruise and drive tourism circuits in Western Visayas as part of the expansion of cruise tourism circuits in the region. New tour circuits include Iloilo-Guimaras, Capiz-Northern Iloilo, Northern Antique and Bacolod City-Manapla-Cadiz-Sipaway in Negros Occidental.
Composite team joining the ocular inspection includes representatives from public and private sectors such as MARINA, Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Red Cross, LGU Disaster Risk Reduction Management team, local tour guides, media and Tourism Development Area managers of DOT Region VI.
Director Catalbas said DOT Region VI will promote the tour circuits to both local and foreign market but the LGUs and their tourism stakeholders should prepare the attractions, facilities and services to cater the different needs of tourists. She also emphasized that apart from the readiness of the tourism attractions, safety and security are crucial.
“Tourists, may they be domestic and international, are our partners. Our goal is to take good care of them during their stay here in our region; make them feel that Western Visayas is their home away from home. Our attractions should have facilities that are tourist-friendly and services that showcase Filipino warmth”, Director Catalbas explained.
DOT Region VI is looking forward to launch these tour circuits before the year ends, but Director Catalbas said, “we will not make hasty moves, we want everything to be organized, so if the provinces are ready, we will be there”. (DOT6/KJS)