Guimaras repackaged as tourist destination

November 5, 2006

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer, Nov. 05, 2006

ILOILO CITY–Mountain bike races, kayaking and tours to mango plantations.

These and other land-based leisure activities will be the new image of Guimaras Island in line with a promotional campaign to reverse the negative impact of a large oil spill on the island’s tourism industry.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) will embark on a short-term rehabilitation and marketing program starting next month for the affected tourist destinations on the island.

DOT regional director Edwin Trompeta said an “island paradise race” and an international mountain bike festival would be held on the island to highlight that “there’s more to beaches in Guimaras.”

He pointed out that only 20 percent of the beach tourism was affected by the oil spill but the other destinations have suffered a slack of visitors because of the impression that the whole of the island was contaminated by the oil sludge.

A rapid assessment report conducted by a multi-agency team said 25 tourism sites, including 11 beach resorts were directly affected by the oil spill while another 33 were indirectly affected.

The spill affected 1,355 guests who cut short their stay. At least 367 bookings were cancelled, according to the report.

(For the full story, click Guimaras repackaged.)


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