Firm setting up adventure resort in Balamban

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Monday, February 25, 2013


ALLIANCE Aquaculture Inc., an affiliate of International Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPI), is planning to develop its 36-hectare prawn farm in Baliwagan, Balamban into an integrated mountain resort that will have adventure activities.

According to Cristino Lim, general manager of Wild Wild West Recreation Center, they added recreational activities to maximize the farm’s 20-hectare development.

“The areas surrounding the ponds are idle so we thought of putting recreational activities to bring more life to the farm,” Lim said.

They retained the prawn farm, which was developed in the 1980’s for export. It has 16 ponds with an average annual harvest of 50 tons to 70 tons. Each pond can harvest five tons to six tons on the average. It is the farm’s major source of income.

“The long-term plan is to make this an integrated resort, a new destination for family-bonding activities,” said Lim, who is also IPI’s vice president for admin and finance.

The recreation center formally opened last summer. Its opening also provided jobs to 30 Balamban residents.

Investment

The company initially invested P2 million for the setting up of a racecar drifting activity in the resort. Lim said they were surprised by the positive feedback, especially among male car racing enthusiasts.

Lim said they thought of adding other activities that are good for family and group outings.

He purchased equipment and resources for activities like horseback riding, fish feeding, tirador challenge, camping, fishing, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) adventure ride and biking.

Lim said all the activities they offer were spurred by requests of guests who wish to spend more time at the farm. The firm built cottages and a restaurant to complete the adventure experience. He said they encourage prior reservations at their restaurant as prawns and fish served are all taken fresh from the pond.

Lim said it is during weekends where they have a lot of guests, who usually come in groups. They expect more guest with the coming of summer.

Adventure tourism, according to tourism stakeholder Jonathan Jay Aldeguer, is great way to draw tourists to Cebu and has potential to grow more.

He said Cebu is conducive for this as the province has access to sea and mountains.

Aside from that, Cebuanos are now adapting their lifestyle with adventure events held almost every weekend.

“Adventure tourism adds a new dimension to activities and events in Cebu,” Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.

Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 director Rowena Montecillo is pleased at how municipalities and companies in Cebu have come up with their own adventure activities.

She said adventure destinations provide new attractions to Cebu’s growing number of local and foreign visitors, giving them more reasons to extend their stay here.

Aside from promoting Cebu as a leisure and cultural destination, her office is also actively promoting the province as an adventure tourism destination to attract young Filipino-Americans, especially those from the third and fourth generation, who are into all sorts of adventures.

Asked whether Cebu is slowly moving from being leisure to adventure type of tourism site, Aldeguer said the growing attraction still cannot replace the more lucrative leisure market.

He said Cebu should continue to develop and be vigilant in developing the leisure market since this sector continues to grow and covers a wide spectrum including wellness, attractions and adventure.

“Adventure tourism should just be a part of Cebu’s lure as a top leisure destination,” Aldeguer said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2013.

Business

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