Foreign travelers revel in Sulu’s beauty, rich culture
MANILA, Philippines — Seventeen foreign travelers were able to visit and experience the natural wonders and vibrant culture of Sulu through an undertaking of the government and its partners that aims to boost tourism in the province.
The travel event “Project Sulu,” which was initiated by the Bangsamoro government and tourism offices, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine Global Explorers (PGE), aspires to make Sulu a top-of-mind tourist destination for its natural beauty and rich culture.
Project Sulu has brought a delegation of 17 foreign travelers from the Most Traveled People (MTP) and Extreme Traveler International Congress (ETIC) to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
“The purpose is to embolden Sulu in its efforts to bring itself to the forefront of Philippine and international tourism, following a marked improvement in peace and order owing to the efforts of the AFP,” PGE said in a statement.
“The successful visit of our foreign delegation through this unique collaboration affirms that Sulu is ready to welcome foreign travelers and to show the world its natural beauty, rich culture, and deep history,” it added.
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The delegation began their journey in Zamboanga City, before taking a public ferry to Sulu’s capital city, Jolo.
The expedition came amid the global screening of Hollywood action-thriller film “Plane,” which portrayed Jolo, Sulu, as an island infested by rebels and militia.
For PGE, the movie may further fuel warnings from the international community that Sulu islands “are unsafe for travel because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups.”
But it also asserted that because of the ongoing efforts of the AFP, Sulu has become “relatively peaceful over the past six years.”
It said that locals have even started small-scale businesses in formerly restricted areas – which are now controlled by the military and being converted into tourist spots.
READ: Business, tourism booming as peace descends on Sulu
The delegation of foreign travelers also experienced the first-hand diversity of Sulu, as well as its rich history and Islamic heritage, PGE claimed.
Likewise, the delegation witnessed Badjaos (sea gypsies) celebrating an overwater wedding ceremony, saw breathtaking views in white beaches, mountains and lakes, and enjoyed swimming, scuba diving, or hiking.
“Our foreign guests experienced the warmth and openness of every local they came across in Sulu,” said PGE.
PGE vowed to continue its participation in concerted efforts to advance the country’s travel and tourism industry.
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