THE municipality of Asturias is now ready to welcome local tourists.
With the opening of Cebu’s countryside tourism, Asturias Mayor Antonio Pintor wants the town to get a good share of the returning tourists as it opens up its marine tourism cruise, dolphin watching and other ecotourism activities.
The marine tourism cruise and the dolphin watching activities are in partnership with the people’s organization of fishermen and the Asturias Beach House, a local resort in Barangay Owak owned by the late former vice mayor Alan Adlawan.
According to Owak Barangay Capt. John Carl Dupal-ag, at least 45 fishermen were tapped for the cruise and the dolphin watching activities.
“We officially started this when the Cebu Province was already under modified general community quarantine, although we had dry runs done in the past to make sure that we could cater to the tourists well and give them a great experience,” said Dupal-ag.
The marine tourism cruise showcases three spots—the Coral Garden in Barangay Owak, the heritage sites in Barangay Looc which are the sea markers Balisang Taas and Balisang Pungkol, and the old mangrove species present in Barangays San Roque and Langub.
“They can do snorkeling and kayaking in these areas for only P1,500 per trip maximum of 10 in a group,” he said.
For the dolphin watching, tourists pay only P150 per head. Only 10 guests are allowed to ride the motorized boat that will take them to the Tañon Strait where the dolphins feed in groups.
“Tourists can book through the website of Asturias Beach House. We also have rooms here with rates starting from P1,500 for single bed to P3,000 for barkada rooms,” said Dupal-ag.
Pintor said they hope to see more tourism activities in their municipality as it helps create more livelihood for his constituents and generate more income for the local government.
“This is just the first offering and it has already helped our fisherfolk community. Hopefully, as we develop more of our ecotourism spots, we can help more of our people here through jobs,” he said.
Moreover, Asturias has the biggest lake in Cebu that transcends two barangays called Buswang Lake in Barangay Bago and Sta. Rita.
At present, the local government has installed boardwalks in the area with plans to set up ziplines and other activities in the area to attract the adventurous tourists.
“There are fish cages there now and a boardwalk. Surprisingly, we have seen tourists already visiting since the province opened tourism activities to the locals. Soon we will have ziplines and other activities in that area.”
Aside from the lake, Asturias is also blessed with caves and natural springs including a hot spring in Barangay San Roque. Pintor said they will develop these attractions because they see their potential in driving economic activity.
“We are hopeful to see more (members of the) private sector investing in resorts. One is the Asturias Farms, which operates a huge swine farm here and a modern slaughterhouse. It has already expressed interest in investing in a resort-type facility here, and we will support that because it drives growth and creates livelihood,” said Pintor. (KOC with PR)