PHILIPPINE Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia met with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. during a courtesy visit at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City Tuesday.

Garcia, who traces her roots in Isabela town in southern Negros, discussed with the governor the upcoming “Winter Escapade” of Fil-Canadians in Bacolod and Negros Occidental.

At least 300 tourists from Canada are expected to visit the province in February next year.

Bacolod City Administrator John Orola was also present during the meeting.

In September this year, Marañon also met with lawyer Alejandra Clemente, chairperson of Rajah Tours Philippines, and sales director Michael Charles Kipping to discuss the tour.

Aside from Negros Occidental and Bacolod, the “Winter Escapade” will cover Manila and Davao.

Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the Provincial Government is hopeful that more tourists would come to Negros Occidental despite the concerns brought about by various security threats in the country in the past months.

In the first week of September, Negros Occidental took part in the Philippine Travel Mart organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association in partnership with the Department of Tourism.

Mansinares said the event provided the venue to showcase the province’s coordinated and strategic workforce development plans and promotions for its enhanced tourism products and services.

The offerings include farm tourism, gastronomy or culinary tourism, and ecotourism.

Last September 3 and 4, Negros Occidental also hosted 14 foreign buyers as part of the eight-day Philippine Travel Exchange 2017.

The visitors were from Indonesia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and California, USA.

The group visited culinary and heritage sites in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, and Victorias, and shopped for souvenirs at the Association of Negros Producers Showroom in this city.

Mansinares said that after visiting the province, local tourism stakeholders hope that these foreign tour operators will include the tourism offerings of Negros Occidental in their Philippine itinerary.