By JUNE S. BLANCO
DEVELOP more tourism destinations, create more activities in those destinations to make tourists extend their stay for one more night or two!
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District), a vice chair of the House Committee on Tourism, heard this statement often during his visit to London as part of the Philippine contingent, along with representatives of the Department of Tourism (DOT), to the World Travel Market WTM).
Aumentado emphasized that “while we do not need to re-invent the wheel, we need to inject nuances, variations, more sights. adventures and activities so that tourists can say ‘We need to go back to Bohol because we have not tried this or experienced that!’”
Aumentado’s eye-opener in London came just in time for the visit to Bohol of concept groups from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) tasked to create concepts on the development of the Abatan River-San Vicente Ferrer pilgrimage site-Punta Cruz Watchtower loop in Maribojoc town, the Ubay Stock Farm in Ubay and all possible activities on top of rodeos that can be done there, and more exciting and titillating activities at the Danao Adventure Park in Danao.
The coming over of the TIEZA concept groups was at the instance of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco and Aumentado as part of his responsibilities as Tourism vice chair.
Bohol should offer more than the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier to keep its niche in the highly competitive tourism industry – at a reasonable price range.
The entry of more airlines to the province is a step in the right direction. Competition augurs well for each company trying to outdo each other in terms of rates and services, he said.
This should also be the case for the resorts and hotels in Alona Beach in Panglao and all other beach strips here.
To note, he warned, other provinces are starting to develop their respective beaches and are now offering river cruises as well.
“Sooner or later, beach tourism – a maturing industry in Bohol – will reach a plateau. Pairing it with the tarsier and the Chocolate Hills might become too bland already for adventure seekers hence, the need to innovate, improve existing and add more facilities”, he explained.