NEGROS Occidental and Bacolod City will host 250 Filipino-Canadian tourists as part of the 5th Winter Escapade on February 4 to 11.

Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the Tourism Promotions Board has chosen the province and city along with Manila and Davao to be the venue of the eight-day event.

Mansinares said these tourists want to experience mainly the Philippine’s beach offerings to escape winter in their country.

“This is our first time to receive the group from February 4 to 6, and we are happy that the province was included in this big familiarization trip of the Department of Tourism,” she added.

The City Government of Bacolod, in a press statement, said the guests will visit San Sebastian Cathedral, Vintage Glass Museum, St. John Nepomuceno Church, Resorts Negrense, and various pasalubong centers, on February 4.

On the same day, Mayor Evelio Leonardia will host a welcome dinner and MassKara Night at the Bacolod City Government Center.

Among other places to be visited by the Filipino-Canadian tourists on February 5 and 6 include various tourism destinations in cities of Victorias, Cadiz, Silay and Talisay, and Murcia town.

The Provincial Government will also host a dinner on February 6 at the Capitol Building in Bacolod before the scheduled visit of the tourists in Davao City on February 7.

Small and medium enterprises will set up a bazaar for guests to shop. While promoting Negrense products, local producers are given the opportunity to earn, Mansinares said.

She added that the Negros Occidental Tourism Division has been preparing for this big tourism promotion activity, including ensuring the safety and security of tourists.

Enhancement of sites and sprucing up of some areas were already conducted, Mansinares said, adding that some guests are elderly ones, the oldest is 91, “so we need friendly facilities.”

Several meetings were also conducted to prepare local tourist guides and the host-communities.

“The province’s participation means we have interesting sites to offer. We also have more supportive private sector and local government units, and more ready tourism operators,” she added./EPN with reports from PNA