SIQUIJOR—The Department of Tourism Central Visayas is formulating a tourism master plan to localize the national development plan for the years 2020 to 2030.
Being one of the tourism destinations in the country, Central Visayas needs to strategize for sustainable growth, environmental sustainability and inclusive feedback of tourism in the whole region, according to a resolution approved for endorsement during the Regional Development Council full meeting held in San Juan, Siquijor on Friday, June 21, 2019.
Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said Central Visayas contributes one-third of the total tourism in the country based on reported statistics.
“Central Visayas is the leader in tourism. We contribute a lot,” said Tamano.
The Central Visayas tourism master plan is the first master plan in the region and country.
The DOT was prompted to create the master plan after it was recorded that an estimated eight million tourists came to Central Visayas in 2018, the resolution said.
The DOT started working on the master plan three months ago with the National Economic and Development Authority, and it aims to complete the plan in one year, according to Tamano.
While still working on the master plan, they want to slowly implement it, he said.
Looking for altenatives
Tamano said the master plan will be designed for the region to become more competitive, stay on top, as well as protect the environment and sustain all the aspects of tourism.
The master plan will identify all aspects of tourism, from maritime infrastructure up to the trees which hold the falls.
Tamano explained they plan to strengthen the maritime infrastructure, especially now that land transport is congested. He said they will push for water buses and water taxis to shorten the travel time, especially in Cebu.
“We can do that in Cebu because our forefathers, that’s what they did,” he said.
He said the master plan will also include the marketing infrastructure for a better way of publicizing or marketing the tourist spots and products.
Tamano said the master plan will identify the carrying capacity of places where tourist destinations or products are located, as well as the kinds of tourism a certain place offers. It will also identify the products that need to be developed and the action plan on sustaining them for the next 10 years.
This program also wants to unify the multiple independent tourism-related industries to try to meet the growing demands of the industry.
Tamano said they want to make sure that the DOT and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority or Tieza will focus on the making and implementation of the master plan.
Aside from the government agencies, the private sector and the newly elected leaders of the different local government units will play a vital role in the implementation of the tourism master plan, Tamano said.