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Commentary: Two ways to mainstream East Visayas to the tourism highway

Tacloban City (November 30) -- There are two reasons why Eastern Visayas is lagging behind Cebu, Bohol and other tourism destinations in the Visayas, Presidential Assistant Cynthia Nierras said.

Speaking before a crowd gathered for the Opening Program of the DOLE Service Caravan on Friday, Novermber 28, PA Nierras said she has analyzed the reasons and she found that there are only two.

The first she said is the lack of convention hotels that could accommodate national conventions. This, PA Nierras said, would soon be solved with the Province of Leyte taking over from the Philippine Tourism Authority, the management of MacArthur Park Beach Resort.

Governor Petilla has good plans to upgrade the hotel, PA Nierras said. Very soon, the Robinsons Hotel will also be constructed, the good presidential assistant said. These will solve the number one stumbling block to the development of the Region's tourism industry.

The second is to prepare the community to receive tourists. Tourism industry is an experience industry. Whatever good the visitors experience will make them want to come back again and even to encourage their families and friends to visit the same place.

However, if the tourists feel that they are not treated well in a certain place, if at they airport, they are charged with exorbitant transport fares right at the airport, the sad experience will make him never to come back again, PA Nierras added.

PA Nierras said that Region 8 has many beautiful tourist spots, many times more, than other destinations in the Central Visayas Super Region. Every province in Region 8 has destinations to show and to be proud of. But why is it that it is lagging behind in tourism development?

PA Nierras said that one of these days she will talk with the Department of Tourism in the Region and see where she could help in order to fast track the development of the tourism industry in the Region.

Tourism is an industry that generates many employment opportunities for the workers, and for the investors and businessmen, PA Nierras said. She believes that by developing the tourism industry, the Region will at the same time solve the poverty incidence and upgrade the economic standing of the populace. (PIA 8) [top]

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