DOT Launches “Experience Western Visayas First” Campaign

The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 is set for the grand launching of the “Experience Western Visayas First” tourism campaign to entice more tourists for a sustainable development of the region’s tourism industry

Lawyer Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 Regional Director, said that this affair, slated for March 2, 2014 at J.M. Basa Street and the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, is one of the big events DOT VI is launching this year in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc.

She said that DOT-6 started to rally Western Visayas a year ago to create awareness and increase interest among the people in traveling within the region.

“Now is the time to kick-off further the tourism campaign to attract more tourists to come and experience the region’s tourism first before opting to travel to other places,” she said.

The DOT official said that various activities are set from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and an array of costumes and different beats coming from all over Western Visayas will be featured during the parade from 1:00 – 2:00 PM from the Capitol Grounds to the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.

Numerous performances of local artists and audio visual presentations of Western Visayas will be shown on the main event from 2:00 – 5:00 PM at Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.

Smart Communications and DOT-6 will also hold special raffles during the event.

The DOT said that tourism fair is set for the promotion of the local products and tourist attractions within the region on the same day from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Calle Real here.

Participating provinces include Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental and the two highly urbanized cities of Bacolod and Iloilo.

Local government units, private sector, the academe, and special guests coming from all over the region will take part in the grand event.

DOT: partnership is key to vibrant tourism

Tourism takes off when everybody is on board.

In the 1st Regional Tourism Congress recently held in the province, Tourism Mimaropa Regional Director Rebecca Villanueva stressed the need for all sectors to work side by side in order for the region's tourism to bloom.

“Self-assessment is very important on how global recognition as premier tourist destination will be achieved; Everyone should work on a time table and local government must help. The very essence of victory in Tourism is partnership (private/government partnership) since tourism is not just for promotion but – regulatory, production, services, transport and tourguiding," Director Villanueva said.

As for Marinduque, Director Villanueva said challenges have to be met and correct standards have to be achieved. One issue needed to be addressed is transportation: the airport's runway is undergoing rehabilitation, preventing planes from coming in.

As the island develops into a tourist destination, Director Villanueva said principles of rehabilitate, protect and conserve must be implemented.

With directions from Governor Carmencita Reyes, the Provincial Tourism Office and the Marinduque Island Tourism Council met with other tourism players like Hotel, Resto and Resort Association, the Academe (such as the Marinduque State College), van operators and drivers to iron out issues concerning the industry. These issues included safety, tour-guiding, standardization of fees in the transportation and accomodation, goods, among others.

The First Familiarization Tour, an excursion to Island's various towns, has not only helped local players appreciate Marinduque's treasures but also strengthened their relationships necessary for collaboration. These activities were brought about by events that will take place within the first half of the year.

Aside from the recently-concluded Mimaropa Regional Athletics Association Meet, Marinduque is also busy preparing for the National Cooperative Congress. (JCM/Leonard T. Pineda /PIA-Iloilo) (Lyndon Plantilla/Mayda Lagran/MNL/PIA-4B/Marinduque)

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