TO PROTECT tourists from illegal boat operators, the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 plans to publish the names of pump boats accredited by the agency, the Maritime Industry Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard Cebu in social media.
In Central Visayas there are 1,500 to 2,000 tourist vessels like motor bancas that are used for island hopping.
However, according to DOT 7 there are only 30 tourist motor bancas accredited by the agency, while 30 other vessels are still undergoing the accreditation process.
Besides tapping the social media platforms, DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said the list of accredited motor bancas will also be published in the online and offline brochures that they are planning to create.
These marketing collaterals will feature different islands and islets in the region to guide both locals and tourists.
“Central Visayas can be marketed as a marine park. We are coordinating with the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority for the accurate maps. These islands have marine and bird sanctuaries that need to be highlighted,” he said.
“We cannot do this before because we cannot release an island hopping brochure if the transportation for the island hopping is not licensed,” he said.
For motor bancas to be accredited with the DOT 7, operators have to pay P1,500 for the DOT accreditation. The vessels must also have proper safety equipment and tools, like life jackets, among others.
The DOT targets to finish the pilot brochure featuring Mactan Island by the end of the year while the brochures for other islands, namely Pescador, Tres Marias, Panglao, Balicasag and Sumilon, among others will soon follow.
The brochure will also contain historical and cultural facts about explorer Ferdinand Magellan as part of the 500th year of Christianity celebration campaign.
Cebu welcomed 5.57 million tourist arrivals in 2018.
Central Visayas welcomed a total of eight million tourists, both local and foreign last year and contributed P44.2 billion in tourism revenues to the region’s economy. (JOB)