Asturias eyeing tourism as new economic driver
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - August 13, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The coastal municipality of Asturias in the province of Cebu is bent on making tourism as one of its economic drivers under the new normal environment.

Aside from showcasing its rich marine resources for tourists to experience, town Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor vowed to develop more eco-tourism destinations within the municipality.

Although Asturias may have not yet taken off as among the known tourism spots in Cebu, it is blessed with a wealth of nature-based attractions that can be capitalized on.

“We have the biggest lake in Cebu that transcends two barangays called Buswang Lake in Barangay Bago and Sta. Rita.”

At present, the local government has installed boardwalks in the area with plans to setup ziplines and other outdoor activities in the area to attract the adventurous tourists.

“There are fish cages there now and a boardwalk and surprisingly we have seen tourists already visiting since the province opened tourism activities to the locals. Soon, we will have ziplines and other activities in that area,” Pintor reiterated.

Aside from the lake, Asturias is also blessed with caves and natural springs including a hot spring in Barangay San Roque.

Pintor said they will develop these attractions because they see its potential in driving economic activities in the locality.

“We would also hopefully see more private sectors here investing in resorts,” the Mayor added.

The Asturias Farms, which operate a huge swine farm in the town as well as a modern slaughterhouse has already expressed interest in investing in a resort-type facility, he announced.

“We will support that because it drives growth and creates livelihood,” said Pintor.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., in a recent webinar, said that the Philippines is joining the world in the campaign on “domestic first, long-haul later.”

“We shall focus on domestic travel to jumpstart tourism in the country and to bring livelihood in tourism back. We will particularly pay attention to product development as we expect changes in consumer behavior and expectations,” said Bengzon.

According to Bengzon, DOT will initially promote health and farm, dive, wellness and community-based tourism with authentic experiential activities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the supposedly booming tourism sector in the Philippines, and all over the world.

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