International cruise ship docks in Bohol
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — International cruise liner M/S Europa once again paid a brief visit in Bohol, docking at the Tagbilaran port last Wednesday with 384 European tourists on board.

The Department of Tourism (DOT-7) Shalimar Tamano said the M/S Europa arrival will reinforce the region’s prominence as stop-over destination for global luxury liners.

However, Tamano clarified that as of the moment, his office has not received any advisory for other cruise liners to drop by the island provinces of Central Visayas in the next few months.

Owned and operated by German firm Hapag-Lloyd, M/S Europa is the third international cruise ship to visit Bohol through Tagbilaran City in less than three months.

The luxury liner arrived at Tagbilaran port at seven in the morning last Wednesday from Papua New Guinea and departed for Leyte at 6 p.m. on the same day.

Reportedly, the European tourists who opted to disembark from the cruise ship visited Bohol’s main tourism attractions such as the iconic Chocolate Hills, Loboc River, Abatan River and the Tarsier Sanctuary.

Earlier, The Department of Tourism (DOT) assistant secretary Benito Bengzon said the government is now accelerating its move to invite international cruise liners to capitalize on the country's potential in the cruise industry.

DOT had been negotiating with foreign shipping companies engaged in luxury and leisure cruise operations, convincing these cruise liners to bring in big groups of travelers from all over the world.

Bengzon, who is also leading the DOT's tourism development and chairs the Tourism Promotions Board, said that it is high time for the country to flaunt its over a thousand islands through leisure cruising to easily drum up interest.

“We should be the natural choice for cruise liners, compared to other countries," said Bengzon.

Few years back, DOT partnered with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLUA), which is expected to bring an initial of 20,000 foreign tourists to our shores.

Among the international ports that have been inspected by both DOT and CLUA are  Cebu, Manila, Puerto Princesa, Caticlan, and Subic.

These five ports will play a major role in harnessing infrastructure investment that would address the increasing demand for cruise tourism in the country and the development of waterfront activities.

Early this year, M/S Europa 2 and the M/S Pacific Venus also visited Bohol.   


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