40 tourism attractions in EV identified as priority destinations
TACLOBAN CITY – At least 40 tourism attractions in Eastern Visayas were identified as priority destinations in the newly-drafted regional sectoral plan that aims to draw more than half a million tourists by 2016.
These sites, according to Department of Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, were selected considering the commitment of government agencies, local government units, and the private sector to implement development projects.
“There are existing partnership between government and private sector in these areas such as building necessary infrastructure and raising the capability of tourism service providers in the area,” Tiopes told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
In northeast Leyte, anchor destinations are Tacloban City, Palo, and Babatngon for conferences and events; Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park in Burauen for nature; and Leyte Sab-a Basin Wetland Agri-Eco Park in Palo, Sta. Fe, Alangalang, and San Miguel for agri-educational.
Tagged for development in northwest Leyte are the Leyte Industrial Development Estate in Isabel , Energy Development Corporation Geothermal Steamfield in Ormoc City and Kananga, Pineapple Plantation in Ormoc City, Visayas State University in Baybay City, Lake Danao in Ormoc City, and Tabuk Marine Park in Palompon. The area is being promoted for industrial-agricultural, educational, and nature tourism.
Also included in northwest Leyte area are the Golf Course Urban Amenities in Ormoc and Albuera; Cuatro Islas Hindang and Inopacan for conferences and events; and Mount Pangasugan Nature Park in Baybay for nature, environment, and educational tour.
In Biliran, identified sites are Mainit Hot and Cold Springs in Caibiran for nature; Higatangan Island in Naval for diving; and Sambawan Island in Maripipi for marine sport.
The Sogod Bay Dive Sites in seven towns of Southern Leyte was identified as priority area in the province along with Maasin Zoo in Maasin City, Agas Agas Adventure Park in Sogod, and closed canopy forest in Silago. Tourism products in these areas are adventure, educational, and nature.
Destinations to be prioritized in Samar are Sohoton Cave in Basey, seascape in Marabut, Ulot watershed ecotourism loop in Paranas, Agutay Island in Daram, Bangon Falls and Rapids in Calbayog City. These sites target visitors enthusiastic in caving, diving, and adventure.
In Eastern Samar, those sites are Calicoan Island in Guiuan for marine sports and cultural, Ando and Divinubo Islands in Borongan City for sun and beach, Amandaraga Falls in Lawaan for nature, closed canopy forest in Borongan City, Maydolong, and Llorente for forest adventure.
Northern Samar is keeping its focus on nature, diving, and history by promoting rock formation in Biri; Lalaguna mangrove forest in Lavezares; lighthouse and old church in Capul; World War II cannons in Allen; Lagbangan lake and fish sanctuary in San Antonio; Bangon Rapids, Mawo River, San Abner Falls in Victoria; and Dalakit area and Bobon coastlines in Catarman and Bobon.
Of the 523,842 target number of tourists by 2016, 485,385 are domestic and 38,460 are foreigners. The sectoral plan eyes tourist from within the region, Central Visayas, and National Capital Region. Target foreign tourists are from USA, Australia, Japan, Europe, Korea, and China. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)
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