DOT W. Visayas vows to mend Guimaras’ tourism sector

first_img“The visit of tourists is limited intime and specific schedules should fit in their visit, but now, with drizzleand lightning and the heat during fair weather when there are trips of pumpboats, many of them don’t want to be exposed to the scorching heat of the sun.In both ways, fair and bad weather, still not favorable,” Catalbas said. DOT-6 director Helen Catalbas said theyare aware of Guimaras’ tourism status, which suffered a setback after theIloilo Strait mishap on Aug. 3. Boat trips are only allowed from 6 a.m.to 6 p.m., tarpaulins or canvas at the motorized bancas should be rolled up andpassengers should wear life jackets throughout the trip, among others, based onthe guidelines of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). The DOT-6 plans to hold the consultationsession this month. Some of the concerns that will be raisedin the consultation meeting include ways on how the tourism sector can dealwith the uncertainty of boat trips plying Guimaras and Iloilo routes. Catalbas raised her concern that someDOT-accredited tour operators have received cancellation of scheduled touristvisits in Guimaras after the tragedy. While there are also fast craftsavailable to ferry passengers from Iloilo to Guimaras, and vice versa, Catalbassaid the waiting time is also not conducive for visitors.“Fast crafts are big but they have to wait for certain number of passengers togo and it wouldn’t be feasible to charter that just to cross the channel toGuimaras Strait to take a tour,” she said. ILOILO City – The Department of Tourism in Western Visayas (DOT-6) willhelp the island province of Guimaras to get back on the tourist map.center_img “The DOT-6 will call for a consultationand updating session with MARINA, Philippine Coast Guard, local governmentunits, tour operators, tourism stakeholders in Guimaras and ask them, in theface of all constraints, what should we do and how should we repositionGuimaras as a tourist destination at this point in time?,” Catalbas said. She said DOT-6 will “call for aconsultation and updating session” to discuss the concerns. The regional director said she could notmeddle in the mandate of other government agencies because of the inter-agencycourtesy. “The LGUs have their own mandate to do,” she said. The stricter guidelines had broughtinconvenience to passengers, as some complained due to heat or rain during boattrips. The maritime incident, according to Catalbas,had triggered stricter measures to prevent another sea mishap. “Should we stop for a while promotingGuimaras until it has fixed its problem? Or despite all the problems, we keepon promoting but on certain conditions? Are we going to get the same sets oftourists like the group tours, if we are going to target the group tours andhow can we deal with this on and off trip of the pump boats?,” Catalbas said,adding that the consultation meeting will seek for solutions on theissues. (With a report from PNA/PN)last_img

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