Western Visayas Tourism Focuses on Bridges and Japanese Tourists

The Department of Tourism-6 (DOT-6) is planning to launch a new tourism product dubbed “Tour of Seven Bridges of Blessings” to create awareness on the historical significance of these structures among locals and tourists.

DOT-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas said this new tourism product focusing on the existing bridges in Iloilo City will help generate a new historical experience that tourists can have upon their visit here.

Catalbas said a number of city bridges is considered historical with each having a story to tell, such as the persons responsible for its construction and the virtues and traits that these people possessed that can inspire present-day Ilonggos.

She said the proposed tour will include the following bridges: Iloilo Bridge, Forbes Bridge, Carpenter Bridge, Quirino-Lopez Bridge, Jaro Bridge, Buhang Bridge, and Montinola Bridge.

Of the seven bridges, the oldest is the Forbes Bridge which was constructed in 1910 and was rehabilitated in 1975. Along with the other bridges in Iloilo City, these structures are considered as part of history and as monuments of growth.

The DOT official also said that the bridge tour package will help propel the tourism industry of the city, provide more passengers for the transport sector, more sales for the vendors, and can urge craftsmen to create souvenirs.

Campaign for more Japanese tourists to Western Visayas on

The Department of Tourism in Region 6 (DOT-6) is strengthening its tourism campaign to attract more Japanese tourists to Western Visayas.

The potential of the Japanese travel market is very strong but Region VI registered a low turn-out of only 12,000 Japanese visitors for 2012, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said.

Catalbas said there is no direct international travel connection between the region and any city in Japan so a direct flight can convince more Japanese to consider the sites and attractions of Western Visayas for their trips.

The DOT official also said that they are planning to host a familiarization tour to the Japanese media in the third quarter of this year to validate the presentation they made during the Philippine Business Mission.

“We need these Japanese journalists and the media to write about the good things and their pleasant experiences here,” said Catalbas.

Catalbas further said that they are inviting travel agents who will sell our tours to Japan and meet with the local counterparts, hoteliers, resort owners, tour buses operators, among others.

“Together they can build partnerships and form tour packages that can attract Japanese to visit Western Visayas,” said Catalbas. (JCM/Leonard T. Pineda/PIA-Iloilo)

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