TOURISM stakeholders in the province are supportive of the proposed ordinance enacting a tourism code to govern and ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry in Negros Occidental.

This reaction was manifested during the public hearing on the proposed ordinance conducted Tuesday by the Provincial Board. Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and Board Member Nehemias dela Cruz, chairman of the Committee on Tourism, conducted the consultation.

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Dela Cruz said that the Provincial Government wants to develop the tourism industry of the province and make it as the second major industry next to the sugar industry.

We have a lot of beautiful things, culture, places and food here in Negros compared to other tourist destinations in Asia, he pointed out.

To enact the tourism code, we also have to correct some of our negative culture where we are the ones spending for the tourist instead of earning from them, dela Cruz stated.

The ordinance awaits passage on the second and final reading at the Provincial Board.

Aside from developing sustainable tourism, the ordinance will also promote the Negrense heritage and culture. The code also encourages private sector participation and collaboration.

The ordinance is further aimed at improving the quality of life of the Negrenses through the creation of employment and business opportunities for the Negrenses.

The code includes the creation of the tourism council which will be the primary means for public and private sector collaboration in all tourism-related policies, programs and projects. (TED)