Thursday, February 29News That Matters

Eco-Tourism to Open in 4 Leyte Towns

TACLOBAN CITY – Four towns in Leyte province have forged an alliance to come up with a “circuit tour package” promoting their picturesque islands, breathtaking landscapes, and other natural wonders.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said on Wednesday the move of the towns of Palompon, Isabel, Merida, and Matag-ob to form a lateral alliance and create a tourism circuit is essential to attain local community economic augmentation.

“They reached out to DOT and the Eastern Visayas Tourism Association to present their plan. A plan that capitalizes on each other’s strengths and the opportunities they see over the horizon. A plan that considers development gaps and addresses threats that may hamper development,” Tiopes said in a phone interview.

Palompon is known for Kalanggaman Island, the top destination in the province.

Other destinations are terrestrial eco-adventure park, Buenavista underwater caves, Tabuk marine park fish and bird sanctuary, Masaba ecological park, and the Sky Garden and eco-village.

Activities in Isabel include Dupong river paddling, Badjao eco-village tour, and experiencing the refreshing scenery of Il Fattoria, a place to commune with nature.

In Matag-ob, key destinations include Santa Rosa Hills, Bulak and San Vicente Caves, and Bondari peak, a destination with 360° breathtaking views and landscapes.

Among the destinations in the circuit tour in Merida are Mount Magsanga, aqua farms, San Jose Cave, Bird and Fish Sanctuary, and Tomorroland resort.

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“When like-minded local leaders who believe that tourism is the best driver for sustainable and inclusive growth converge and form collaborative relationships with the industry stakeholders, stars will align and things will fall into their proper places,” Tiopes added.

The four towns proposed tour packages for two days and three days with hike and kayak routes.

In a document prepared by the four local government units, the alliance will require the development of the respective tourist destination areas, the design of tourist packages, and the construction of road networks.

The proposed projects, which require PHP950.8 million in funding, will facilitate the transport of tourists throughout the identified destination areas. /PNA/

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