Samar tourism plan approved

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Saturday, February 25, 2012


THE Regional Development Council (RDC) in Eastern Visayas formally approved the newly drafted Samar Island tourism master development plan.

The plan aims to guide stakeholders in making the island an alternative tourist destination by 2016.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Cynthia Nierras, who presented the plan during an executive meeting, said the plan provides a framework and direction for tourism development for the three provinces of Samar Island.

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The plan, which was drafted by the Samar tourism stakeholders and consultancy firm Berkman International, also lists major infrastructure projects to support tourism promotion.

These include completion of a circumferential road, upgrading of the national highway, opening of access roads to tourist spots, construction of diversion roads and airport upgrading.

Nieras said among the areas considered in the master development plan include the identification of strategic tourism development areas, marketing component, physical infrastructure development, social analysis and gender considerations.

Site validation was conducted in identified attractions to find out what types of development is appropriate for each attraction.

The aspirations of the local people in Samar Island were also documented and were considered as basis for introducing tourism development.

Samar Island, which is home to eco-tourism adventure, cultural and heritage sites, and rich marine life, is identified as an emerging tourism destination.

Earlier, tourism stakeholders in three Samar provinces identified 18 destinations that will be prioritized in the master plan, aiming to make the country’s third largest island as tourist haven by 2016.

Among the known destinations in the island are the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Basey, Calbiga caves in Calbiga, the network of waterfalls in Calbayog City, all in Samar; the Biri Protected Seascapes in Biri; the San Antonio Beaches in San Antonio, both in Northern Samar; the Borongan-Llorente forest canopy in Borongan, Samar; and surfing on Calicoan Island, Guiuan, both in Eastern Samar. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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