Issue of November 4, 2018
     
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Benguet
 
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2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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DOT to assess NL tourist sites
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Destinations in Northern Luzon are next.

The Department of Tourism will soon be forming a team that will assess all tourist destinations in Northern Luzon.

Using the rehabilitation of Boracay island as a template, Usec. Marco Bautista said a task force will be created within the year to assess destinations in the country.

In Northern Luzon, some of the areas that might be assessed are Baguio City, one in Pangasinan, some provinces in the Ilocos Region, and some towns in La Union.

“Take cue from the pronouncement of Sec. (Berna) Puyat, Bautista said in an interview, Tuesday.

Bautista was the guest speaker during the culmination program of Indigenous Peoples Month.

The task force will recommend what measures to take in case it finds out that a destination needs to be rehabilitated.

In his earlier visit to Baguio, Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu said Baguio is one of the destinations that need rehabilitation. However, he stressed that if ever, the measures done in Boracay might not be the same strategies that will be applied in Baguio or in other destinations.

Along with the assessment is the development of neglected destinations. Bautista said alternative destinations will help lessen the crowd in widely-promoted tourist areas, aside from the fact that benefits of tourism will be spread out in other areas.

In the Cordillera, Bautista said the DOT will focus on farm tourism as a way of promoting other destinations in the region.

He said the agency will strengthen convergence with other agencies and local government units for the development of their respective comprehensive tourism plans.

“Sa ibang bansa sikat ang farm tourism. Dito sa Pilipinas nasa infancy stage pa lang. Dito sa Cordillera strawberry picking lang ang kilalang farm destination, pero napakalaki ng potential ng farm tourism dito sa CAR,” Bautista said.

He said the DOT is planning on partnering with flower farmers and is hoping that they will agree to convert even just a portion of their farms for tourism purposes.

Bautista said the plan would also benefit indigenous cultural communities where these farms are located.


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