THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is banking on tourism to provide more employment opportunities to Negrenses, especially those in the rural areas.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said tourism is an industry that is highly-intensive in terms of manpower.
Mansinares said the province wants to extend such opportunity among rural areas thus, it is strengthening its farm tourism program.
“We wanted the whole community, not only the urban centers, to benefit from the job opportunities available in the tourism industry,” she added.
Negros Occidental is currently celebrating the eight-day 19th Provincial Tourism Week until September 20.
This year’s theme, “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All,” is patterned from the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Day theme through Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 0775.
The Provincial Tourism Week underscores the role of tourism in economic development especially in providing jobs to Negrenses.
Mansinares said the activity also highlights the “ability” of tourism in creating more businesses in the area.
It contributes to the expansion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which comprises huge part of the industry’s population, Mansinares said.
“We wanted them to also employ people,” she said, adding that “so if we have a growing number of tourists, the demand is also higher thereby requiring additional manpower.”
For his part, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reaffirmed that tourism is an alternative industry amid pressing concerns hounding the agriculture sector especially sugar and rice.
Lacson said tourism is one industry that the provincial government should push in order to further improve the economy of Negros Occidental.
“Negrenses should invest in farm tourism because it is something that is not common,” he said, hoping that Negros Occidental will be one of the destinations for farm tourism.
The governor also stresses the important role of private sector in tourism development.
“I don’t believe in government competing with private sector but on government encouraging the private sector to invest in tourism,” he added.