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Tourism players to reiterate push for good transpo infra

CEBU, Philippines - If given a chance to have a dialogue with the newly appointed Department of Tourism (DOT-7) regional director, stakeholders would want to re-appeal the issue on good inter-island connectivity.

"What the region needs right now as far as tourism is concerned is the development of our tourism infrastructure especially in areas frequented by tourists and those areas that have potentials but still remain undeveloped up to this time," said Cebu Association of Tour Operator Specialists (CATOs) former president Edilberto Mendoza Jr.,

New DOT 7 director Joshur Judd Lanete, who came from politics, is yet to face the stakeholders, although he already made his official oath-taking last week.

According to Mendoza, Central Visayas’ need for proper connectivity is an immediate concern, as potential destinations in other parts of the region have not maximized their potential due to unavailability of good access.

"We need more connectivity going to the islands for better access and also we need to come up with a more concrete tour guiding standard," Mendoza added.

Mendoza's statement echoed Poro, Camotes Mayor Luciano Rama as saying the potential of Camotes Island to reap good revenue from tourism is affected direly by poor transportation infrastructure.

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"Potential big investments for hotels/resorts are on standby, nothing is moving until we have the proper transportation access, and instability of power supply will be addressed," said Rama in an interview.

Camotes is comprised of three major islands and one minor islet, divided between four municipalities. On Poro Island are the municipalities of Poro and Tudela. Pacijan Islands sole municipality is San Francisco. Ponson Island's sole municipality is Pilar.

Aside from Camotes, Mendoza said there are a lot of islands of touristic places in Central Visayas that are left undeveloped because of this concern.

Mendoza hopes that Lanete would be able to consider this issue and lead a good advocacy with the private sector for immediate solution to the problem. (FREEMAN)

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