Europe-PH News

Puerto Galera Wants To Increase Local And Foreign Tourist Arrivals

March 12, 2012

Estrella Torres

Europe-PH News

Puerto Galera—With the start of the summer season the Department of Tourism is hopeful that more private companies will engage in government projects to improve tourism infrastructure such as roads leading to ports, repair of ferries, establishing eco-friendly hotels and resorts to increase tourist arrivals in the country.

The beaches of Puerto Galera never fail to entice both foreign and domestic tourists. Last year more than 115,000 tourists flocked to the beaches here, 90,000 of them domestic tourists and the local government wants to increase this figure to more than 100,000.

Tourism Assistant Secretary Eugene Kaw said the expected increase in tourist arrivals in the country's travel destinations require parallel investments from private sector to help in government infrastructure programs.

He said since the opening of Southern Tagalog Access Road (STAR), going to Puerto Galera through Batangas City has been convenient and more accessible.

But improving ports in Batangas City will require private-sector investments for infrastructure that will allow foreign and domestic tourists to easy access to Puerto Galera which is one of the nearest tourist destinations to Manila.

Kaw said the municipal government is planning to establish a One Entry One Exit point port in Puerto Galera to allow ease of entry and security for foreigners and locals that they hope will increase tourism revenues which was placed at P50 million in 2011.

There are currently four ports of entry in the tourist capital of Oriental Mindoro, namely: Balatero, Muelle, Sabang and White Beach.

Kaw also said issues that not to be addressed also include poor standards of present water transport and the repair of outrigger boats.

The DOT official said foreign tourist arrivals in Puerto Galera decreased from 38,804 in 2010 to only 24.424 in 2011. These foreign travelers include Russians, Danish, Asians, mostly South Koreans, Chinese and Italians.

Domestic Tourist arrivals in Puerto Galera suffered the most glaring decrease from 151,994 in 2010 to only 90,660 in 2011.

Mayor Hubbert Christopher Dolor of Puerto Galera said he is now negotiating with officials of the Philippine Ports Authority for the development of ports. He said improvement of Balatero and Sabang ports will require p100 million.

The tourism department is also couraging more resorts and tourists to get DOT accreditation so they can ensure safety and convenience for guests in Puerto Galera and only one accredited hotel.

At the same time, the Chamber of Commerce of the European Union has partnered with the DOT over the weekend in holding the second Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival.

The DOT believes that the event is one of the important festivals that will not only advance music, arts and culture but will increase tourist arrivals in Puerto Galera.


Source: Business Mirror; Region; 12 Mar 2012

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