Palawan execs eye tie-ups with Cebu tour operatorsCebu Daily News
LOCAL officials and tourism stakeholders in Palawan explored tie-ups with tour and travel operators of Cebu and Bohol as part of the province’s efforts to aggressively promote Palawan as an eco-tourism destination in the country.
“Many hotels are now being constructed here. And hopefully we could keep up with the arrivals of tourists in the next two to three years,” Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn told at least 23 tour and travel operator-guests from Cebu and Bohol during a recent familiarization tour of Palawan.
“The international airport is now being constructed. We have started this year. Hopefully in 2 years, we can have an international airport already. We are slowly following Cebu. Hopefully, we will be able to catch up with you,” Hagedorn said.
Nonet Madriñan-Bolo, Bohol Federation of Travel and Tour Operators (BFTTO) president, said with these developments, Palawan would likely catch up with Cebu.
“With the underground river and Batak Tribe among others, I won’t be surprised if Palawan will be among the top destinations in the country,” Bolo said.
Bolo was referring to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature proclaimed on November 11, 2011.
The underground river with its 8.2 km limestone karst mountain landscape, was ranked second to South Africa’s Table Mountain.
Cecille Sa-a, Cebu Association of Tour Operators (CATO), also agreed with the observation.
“We have been selling Palawan for the past years, we hope they do the same for us,” Sa-a said after the five-day familiarization tour, where a business matching event formed part of the activities.
“The familiarization tour is very important because we get to talk about the place beyond what is obviously stated in the brochures,” said William Oljol of Explore Cebu Tours and Travel.
Central Visayas stakeholders also planned to hold a familiarization tour in Cebu and Bohol for their Palawan counterparts.
“We will have it maybe in September,” Sa-a said.
Sa-a said CATO members who joined the trip would first meet to discuss hosting the Central Visayas tour.
During the tour, guests visited the Puerto Princesa Underground River at the Puerto Princesa Underground River Nature Park and the world-class beach resorts in Sabang, Puerto Princesa – Daluyon Beach Resort and Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa.
There were also mangrove river cruises with different attractions such as the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour and Bacungan River tour where guests sailed aboard a river taxi with a roof designed as a bird. /Correspondent Jessa Marie Agua