Bohol’s grandiose plan to boost further its flourishing tourism industry is now in full swing with the construction of new infrastructure projects in the island to be completed within the next three years.
This was announced separately by Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto and Congressman Rene L. Relampagos (Bohol, Ist District) at the opening of the 24th Philippine Travel Mart held at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia on Friday.
Chatto dubbed the program as “Projects in support of Bohol Tourism” which will be a big leap to sustain Bohol’s ranking as one of the top leading tourist destinations in the Philippines in the years ahead.
Foreign and domestic tourists have been flocking to Bohol to see and experience nature’s beauty such as the famous Chocolate Hills, white beaches, pristine seawaters and diving spots comparable to the world’s best, huge man-made forest, the famous tarsier, the world’s smallest mammal, and the jumping-dolphins, among others.
“Bohol is one of the eight anchor destinations in the country, and is gaining prestige as a prime eco-cultural destination,” Chatto said in a speech.
Chatto proudly told the audience that “Bohol is the No. 1 eco-cultural tourist destination in the Philippines” as the provincial government always put a premium to preserve its environment whenever a new project is undertaken.
For his part, Relampagos, chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, said this year’s holding of the Philippine Travel Mart exposition will strengthen the country’s vibrant tourism industry.
Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines
He pointed out that the travel expo proves to be very timely and relevant as it markets the Philippines as a world-class and must-see tourist destination to be wider in range in terms of the number of tourist arrivals.
The major infrastructure project in Bohol that will be undertaken before the year ends are the new P7 billion new Bohol alternate international airport on the island of Panglao jointly financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and the Philippine government. Chatto said the completion of the new airport will enable Bohol to bring in more tourists to visit the province.
He also said some 48 families affected in the construction of the airport will be resettled and given livelihood program by the provincial government.
According to Chatto, this strategic program will showcase Bohol’s competiveness in the lucrative tourism industry.
On the other hand, Relampagos said the three-day tourism expo “provides an opportunity for building contacts and partnerships in the larger business arena,” adding that “it is during events such as this that the cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors of tourism are really put into play.”
He cited the vital role of the private sector in the continued growth of the tourism industry in the country as provided for under the Tourism Act of 2009 authored and sponsored by Gov. Chatto when he was then a congressman representing the first district of Bohol.
Relampagos vowed that as chair of the House Committee on Tourism in the current 16th Congress, “we will endeavor to ensure that the policies and objectives set forth in the law are properly and erffectively implemented, in order that we can truly make the tourism industry the driving force of the country’s economic recovery.
Adding color to the program was the live performance of Bohol’s singing sensation Luke Mejares. (PNA/CTB/Ben Cal/rsm)