Government attention sought for eco-tourism development
- Ehda Dagooc () - June 30, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Tourism stakeholders in the Visayas call on the government to give utmost attention to the development of the country’s eco-tourism niche.

In a resolution that was formulated after the recently concluded Tourism Congress, led by women tourism prime movers Mila Espina and Maria Theresa Chan, the group called on the different government agencies to cooperate in the development of the eco-tourism program of the province as well as the entire region.

This year’s Tourism Congress, which tackled on maximizing the eco-tourism niche of Cebu and other areas in the Visayas, pushed for sustainable programs and concerns of the public and private sectors involving eco-tourism.

Espina, who also sits as the chairperson of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) tourism committee, said that the academe is urged to integrate courses in eco-tourism in appropriate curricula from the high school to college levels.

A copy of the resolution was submitted to the Department Education and the regional office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED-7).

While the local government units (LGUs) play a very vital role in the development of eco-tourism programs, LGU officials including the Cebu City government, Cebu Provincial government were also being called to undertake eco-tourism projects in the barangay level.

Cebu tourism players, through the same resolution, called on the newly elected government officials especially in the LGU levels, as well as the national level to appropriate a budget for eco-tourism and environment-related programs.

This will also include providing proper infrastructure and service related facilities, especially in the countryside. A special mention calling the attention of the Cebu City government and the provincial government was also made.

Also, the resolution included that the schools should develop linkages with national and international Foundations and other groups to support tourism related-research programs.

During the discussion, delegates from all over Visayas and Cebu tourism stakeholders became familiar with many nature landmarks and tour activities; green culinary ( dishes) concoctions using local ingredients; recycling to produce environment-friendly products, like fashion accessories and furniture, anti-pollution devices; green technology using solar-based and hi-tech fixtures, among others.

However, some common concerns on water and power; roads and service facilities, among others, drew various insights which resulted in the mass resolutions, Espina said.

According to Espina, the CCCI Tourism Committee will partner with Julie’s Bakeshop in building tourism lounges and comfort rooms in the countryside; and with Cebu Visitors Convention Center in expanding information networks in small and big establishments to guide the tourists and local visitors

While eco-tourism plays an important role as a socio-economic driver to boost local economies and communities, ecotourism industry stakeholders from both the public and private sectors are strongly urged to assess ecological impacts, embrace best practices in sustainable tourism development and rise as true champions of tourism and biodiversity.

CEBU CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY CEBU CITY CEBU PROVINCIAL CEBU VISITORS CONVENTION CENTER DEPARTMENT EDUCATION ECO ESPINA GOVERNMENT TOURISM TOURISM CONGRESS
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