Antique towns develop eco-tour packages
by PS Mabaquiao
San Jose, Antique (26 February) -- Magistic mountains and rivers, white sand beaches, marine sanctuaries, virgin forest and many others, these are among the natural wonders that made up the eco-tour packages crafted by clusters of municipalities in the province, said Danny Misajon of the Provincial Tourism Office.
During the recent workshop of Municipal Tourism Officers, Local Government Operations Officers of the different towns in the province and other tourism stakeholders, tour packages were developed not only to strengthen alliances among municipalities but also to give lift to the tourism industry and go on full swing.
"Antique has many destinations to offer in terms of natural wonders; all it needs is viable tour packages that will cater to the distinct desires of tourist and at the same time conserving the essence and natural state of the environment", said Misajon.
Among the specific tour packages include: Island hopping and diving in Caluya, mountain/cave adventures and tour to the marine sanctuaries of Libertad, exploration of Bugang Malumpati River and other pristined beaches of Pandan, martyrdom walk at the EBJ Freedom park where statues of local and national heroes are erected. These are just few of the tour packages, all other towns have eco-tourism sites and are linked to one another.
The tour packages will not only generate revenue for the LGUs who will manage the tour but it will create jobs and income for local industries like muscovado, patadyong, and other handicrafts, said the source.
Town fiestas and festivals also serve as the main attraction including community/agro-industrial fair where local products and cultural presentation catched the attention of visitors. Binirayan celebration, a showcase of culture, arts and products of Antique according to Misajon attracts foreign tourists and serve as homecoming for balikbayans.
The Department of Interior and Local Government supported this undertaking according to Provincial Director Rosario Maza to enhance partnership among LGUs through the inter-municipal tourism program. The workshop was funded by the DILG through the Local Academy of the Philippines under the Panibagong Paraan Para sa Pagpapalakas Panglokal na Pamahalaan, (an innovative grant competition among DILG provincial offices).
Florentino Egida, Provincial Tourism Officer expressed optimism that the tourism program through the eco-tour packages developed in every town can boost the tourism industry of the province. (PIA) [top]