BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Tourism Undersecretary Falcony Millar said the province is one of the preferred destinations for cultural tourism in recognition of the rich culture, tradition and heritage that were preserved over the past several decades.

Millar, who was given the name "Farnatan" or a team leader during his recent visit, said scenic tourist spots and low-cost leisure experiences are not sufficient to attract the influx of local and foreign visitors. What is important, he added, is the emotion that goes with the industry, which is found in the province’s rich culture and traditions.

“Mountain Province has been identified as a potential ecotourism and cultural tourism destination because of its existing natural scenic tourist spots and the presence of its rich culture and traditions that remain unblemished,” Millar said.

Aside from the famous Sagada caves, Maligcong rice terraces and Mainit hot springs, Mountain Province is known for its towering and majestic mountains, various waterfalls and river systems among other desired destinations in its 10 municipalities.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) official pointed out the province must already maximize its tourism potential by enticing the influx of more local and foreign visitors who will be instrumental in spurring economic growth in the countryside.

Millar commended the indigenous peoples of the province for having sustained efforts to preserve and protect their rich culture and traditions that now serve as one of the major tourist attractions being patronized by nature-lovers and visitors who appreciate the beauty of culture.

Millar also said the tourism department was able to feature the Cordillera in one of its major promotional activities in Pasay City last month and the agency will continue to support the promotion of tourist destinations to achieve the government’s goal of enticing more local and foreign visitors to go around the beautiful spots in the country.

As one of the adopted sons of Mountain Province, Millar said he will remain committed to the aggressive promotion of the tourist spots in the province in both the national and international scenes so that people will include in their desired destination the province as their priority destination over and above other areas in the different parts of the archipelago.

The undersecretary said the country’s tourism industry remains vibrant following the mileage the country was able to get with the hosting of the 2016 Miss Universe beauty pageant and the country’s tourist destinations will reap the fruits of such exposure in the future.

Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr. expressed his gratitude to Millar for his assurance that Mountain Province will be included in the aggressive promotion of various tourist destinations in the country, citing the implementation of major infrastructure province over the past several years made tourist areas accessible for local and foreign visitors wanting to visit additional destinations in the different parts of the region in the future. (PR)