Guimaras is not just about mangoes and its sweet people but it has a “taste that fits every businessman’s dream.”
This was how Henry G. Babiera, the president and chief executive officer of the Lombija Wildlife Park and Heritage Resort described the province, when he spoke before participants during the ‘First Guimaras Investment Forum,’ one of the activities highlighting the recent Manggahan Festival here.
The province, he said, may not be comparable to what other cities such as Cebu, Manila, Davao, Baguio, Palawan and Iloilo can offer but it has one resource that these cities do not have-- citing Guimaras’ “beauty of nature”.
Further, he said that Guimaras aside from its cheap labor force has a plenty of available lots.
He also emphasized the good relationship between the local government unit of the province and the private sector as another advantage.
Nonetheless, he pointed out that while the province is almost a complete package for would-be tourism investors, he also reminded them that location and timing in doing business are also significant factors.
Guimaras, which is now geared towards becoming an agri-tourism site, is one ideal place as he cited that “the farther the place, the more tourists you have.”
The timing he said should also be considered.
Babiera and his partners invested some P1.2 billion for the establishment of an 82-hectare park which features wildlife research and breeding center; botanical park and zoological park; museum; amphitheater; a marine aquarium; an animal household station/wellness center; convention and library; exhibition facilities and a mountain resort.
For his part he looked forward to open the park in 2015, the period when the country is almost at its political stability.
“Tourism industry knows no limit, has no boundary and is full of opportunities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava disclosed that the plan is really to develop the province’s agri-tourism circuit.
“Our communities are basically agriculture-based. We are really on industries.
Only a few packets of high-end business establishments probably to be compensated by our agri-tourism circuit which is composed of community-based tourism and agricultural areas that have been converted into tourism areas," he said. (PNA/LBV/PGLena)