DAPITAN CITY – The local government here has lined up programs and plans aimed to further enhance the knowledge of the tourism stakeholders.

City tourism officer-in-charge Porlas Rodiolan said they will be conducting trainings and seminars on culture tourism for guides, drivers as well as attendants of pension houses and hotels.

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Tourism is the major industry of this city.

Rodiolan said the trainings and seminars, which will be held this month, aimed to impart knowledge to the concerned stakeholders on how to deal with their guests regardless of what nationality to include religious sect.

Rodiolan said the trainings and seminars are important since “there are lots of tourists who are coming to our city.”

The number of tourists to include foreign and domestic who visited this city last year have reached to almost 300,000, which is almost double compared to that in 2008.

There were a total of 298,945 foreign and domestic tourists who visited this city last year as compared to only 184,100 in 2008.

Rodiolan said that majority of the tourists visited this city during special occasions like the Kinabayo Festival and Handuraw Festival.

Kinabayo Festival is an exotic and colorful pageant reenacting the Spanish-Moorish wars, particularly the Battle of the Covadonga, wherein the Spanish forces took their last stand against the Saracens.

Kinabayo Festival is held from July 16 to July 25 with the annual feast of St. James the Greater, this city’s patron saint.

On the hand, Handuraw Festival is a three-day even from December 28 to 30, honoring the works and achievements of Dr. Jose Rizal during his four-year exile in this city.

Handuraw is a Visayan word, which means flashback.

Rodiolan said they will also conduct trainings and seminars on entrepreneurship.

Rodiolan said the participants of the entrepreneurship trainings and seminars will be taught in making souvenir items and delicacies with the tourists as their target market. (Bong Garcia)