Siquijor Island will be promoted by newly elected local officials as the "Healing Island in Asia."
Siquijor vice-governor and tourism ambassador Fernando “Dingdong” Avanzado, in his inaugural speech, vowed to begin the task of transforming Siquijor from being “one of the poorest provinces" in the country into a vibrant progressive and developed province.
Avanzado said Siquijor is a beautiful island. “We just need to let the world know that there exists a paradise known as Siquijor,” as he pushes special attention to the multi-trillion dollar wellness medical tourism industry to promote Siquijor as the healing island in Asia.
He is also pushing for the adoption of a progressive health care program such as the modernization of the hospitals in the province.
Hospitals, he said , are one of the very important factors that tourists make special notice of in deciding whether to visit, stay or invest in Siquijor.
He urged the local legislators to pass ordinances and resolutions that strengthen the provincial health board and the provincial tourism council.
"To put more teeth into our tourism and development services including the public information services and the civil defense administration because peace and order is a vital tourism concern," Avanzado added.
Meanwhile, the new tourism development thrust of Siquijor province will take off with the first Siquijor Tourism Forum (STF) on July 29 with the theme, “Siquijor within the Perspective of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP)."
The event is co-sponsored by the Provincial Government of Siquijor and the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas.
Provincial Vice Governor and Tourism Ambassador Fernando “Dingdong” Avanzado, in a letter said, the forum will feature DOT-7 Rowena Lu Montecillo who will present an overview of the Central Visayas Tourism Situationer and DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Cañizal who will discuss the NTDP where Siquijor is identified as a Priority Development Area (PDA).
A workshop on Cultural Mapping will also be done to determine the immediate marketability, positioning and branding of Siquijor as a unique tourism destination in the Asia Pacific region, Avanzado said.
Election of the new set of officers for the Provincial Tourism Council will then follow. (mbcn/ Rizalie A. Calibo/PIA7-Siquijor)