CAMIGUIN is prepared to receive more visitors following the pronouncement of its lone district Representative Xavier Jesus Romualdo that the province could be a viable alternative to Boracay Island, which was ordered closed by President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly for environmental reasons.
“We are prepared,” said Flor Colmenas, a Camiguin provincial tourism official said by phone Wednesday, in reference to Camiguin’s capacity to take in more tourists with the imminent closure of Boracay’s beaches to the public.
Colmenas said Camiguin has more than a hundred hotels, resorts, inns, pension houses, and even home-stay facilities.
She said tourists have nothing to worry about as the island is clean and its accommodations are compliant with environmental laws.
“Even before the issue on Boracay, the maintenance of island-wide cleanliness has been the focus of the campaign of mayor JJ,” Colmenas said, referring to former Camiguin governor and now-mayor of Mambajao, the province’s capital town, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.
In previous interviews, Romualdo has assured that they are seeing to it that all hotel and resort operators are complying with the environmental regulations to ensure that Camiguin will maintain its pristine state.
In a news report, the younger Romauldo said Camiguin has the white beaches, springs and other natural amenities such as its numerous dive spots that could rival other tourist destinations in the country. Its mountain range was declared recently as a natural heritage park by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
It can be recalled that the lawmaker has authored a legislation, which became Republic Act 10907 or the Camiguin Tourism Development Act requiring the National Government to support the island’s tourism industry.
Visitors to Camiguin enjoy its fine-sand beaches, especially in the Mantigue and White islands, as well as its various springs and waterfalls scattered all throughout the island-province.
The Provincial Government-funded #NoWords video, aimed at promoting the island, went viral on YouTube last year with thousands of views and shares.
The video focused on a local tourist’s preconceived notion of Camiguin as boring and not worth visiting, but completely changed her perception once she enjoyed the island-province’s many attractions.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Government has reorganized its private arm, the Camiguin Tourism Industry to help address issues of the province's tourism industry in the light of the government's assessment on key tourism tourism areas in the country.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry in Camiguin (DTI-Camiguin), a forum was held early this month to strengthen the collaboration of the local government unit and private sector in solving local problems in the tourism industry.
The forum was participated by more than 100 resort and restaurant owners of Camiguin, led by the Provincial Governor of Camiguin Maria Luisa Romualdo and Mambajao Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo.
The creation of CTA will hopefully unite tourism-related businesses in the province, as well as enhance the capability of every members through awareness campaigns, the DTI-Camiguin said in a statement.
"CTA’s mission includes undertaking programs and projects that will upgrade and professionalize operations of tourism-related services in Camiguin, to promote unity, collaboration and cooperation among those in the tourism industry and other entities engaged in tourism," the DTI said.
The organization also aims to encourage and foster high ethical standards in business resulting in fair and honest competition, provide representation in matters of government interventions on tourism-related policies, rules and laws affecting the tourism sector of the province, and exercise dynamic leadership in promoting goodwill and understanding through fellowship within the tourism sector, both national and international," it adds.
Today, CTA assists the entire tourism business community of the province to develop viable programs and strategies and foster strong partnership with the local government units by lobbying for policies, programs, projects and issues affecting tourism and its business environment.