Villafuerte said that given the right tools, the DOT would not find it difficult to sustain the Philippines’ growing number of foreign tourist arrivals even with the closure of Boracay Island, given that even authoritative and respected online publications such as forbes.com have acknowledged the country as among Asia’s booming tourist locations.
air and sea connectivity, the solon said.
“The DOT can do wonders by aggressively pitching the country as an ecotourism haven and as an extreme sports destination, for one, to make up for Boracay’s shutdown,” Villafuerte said.
Prior to the closure, a March 28 article of forbes.com named the Philippines along with Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea as experiencing a “marked uptick” in tourist arrivals.
As three-term governor from 2004 to 2013, Villafuerte had transformed
Camarines Sur into the Philippines’ top tourist destination by promoting the
Caramoan Islands as an adventure destination and the CamSur Watersports Complex as one of the world’s best wake parks. The complex has been the site of world-renown sports events, such as the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, which has been held there for three consecutive years.
Villafuerte said the DOT, the local government units and the private sector should work together on new marketing strategies to sell the Philippines as Asia’s premier tourist destination by developing its potentials as an eco-tourism and adventure sports hub.
The DOT can take advantage of the country’s natural attractions and the Filipinos’ famed hospitality and relative fluency in English to market the Philippines as an ecotourism haven, Villafuerte said.