Feature: Zamboanga del Sur, an eco-tourism destination
Zamboanga City (17 June) -- To promote Zamboanga del Sur as an eco-tourism destination, local government initiatives have been implemented to develop the Agro-Tourism and Heritage Complex (AHC) in Dao, Pagadian City.
A brainchild of Governor Aurora Enerio Cerilles and Congressman Antonio H. Cerilles of the 2nd District of Zamboanga del Sur, it metamorphosed into what is now the Megayon Festival Site with the famous Butterfly Park, Canopy Walk and Zipline and other amenities for those adventure-loving people. No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo attended the blessing and inauguration of the AHC in September, 2007.
It can be recalled that last April, the Summer Youth Camp was held here for 3 days,which was a sort of educational-cultural immersion for our youth teaching dances and rituals of the Subanen people.
Provincial Tourism Officer Frederick Anthony Padayhag said "we are targeting local tourists from neighboring provinces in the region like Ozamis, Iligan, Cagayan, Dipolog and Dapitan to come to our place.That's why we adopted "Laag Zamboanga del Sur".
Padayhag bared that a stage and an amphitheater will soon rise on the area, before the end of Governor Cerilles' term in 2010.
He added that "we don't have much of tourism infrastructure in our province because that would need private investors and we can't be competitive in that aspect yet. That market is already eaten up by Bohol, Cebu and Boracay. What we are focused on is the adventure, which makes us distinct from other tourist destinations. With our inland transportation getting better, and the establishment of tourism desk in hotels, tour packages will be easier and investors would flock to our place in a few years."
"Our conservative estimate is that the Pagadian City Airport will be fully operational by the end of 2009. That would surely make a positive impact in the tourism industry of Zamboanga Peninsula Region."
With these recent developments, more tourists are expected to come and visit our province. Ms. Andrea Yu, proprietor of Hotel Guillermo and Jeffrey Almonte of Hotel Camila also attest to the fact that there are more tourist arrivals lately. (PIA9-Pagadian) [top]