SCUBA DIVER HAVEN BALICASAG ISLAND TO BE REDEVELOPED

Island of Balicasag, July 25, 2003 By Bobby Lim Joseph (BULLETIN) Balicasag Island, a haven for scuba divers, will soon be redeveloped and improved by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) General Manager, Robert Dean Barbers.

In a conference with ABS-CBN Magandang Umaga Bayan Team and National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) in the Island of Balicasag, Barbers stated that the island will be developed to reach out and cater to other market niches such as student travel, barkada group packages and family travel.

In cooperation with Air Philippines and Supercat, the package tour includes an overnight in Cebu, a one hour and a half trip on Supercat and a half day tour of Bohol and onwards for an overnight or two days stay in Balicasag.

The PTA General Manager said infinity pools, waterfalls, cabanas, dormitories, and additional cottages will be constructed to include sports amenities, new scuba equipment and sports equipment. The entire workforce will be undergoing service training. This will be the showcase among the twelve properties of the PTA.

NAITAS and other associations will be tapped to spearhead the marketing strategies to promote the various projects. Regular Friday meetings will be held at the PTA office.

Meanwhile, NAITAS Chapter President Jenny Franco said, the national association will be networking to promote tour packages to be sold nationwide.

As expressed by Bohol NITAS Chapter Chairman Zarah Dejaresco, President of Angel’s Wings, new tour programs will be launched supported by the office of the Governor Rico Aumentado for the organizations.

The Save Our Skies Movement will be coordinating with NGOs in Bohol to support the campaign the Clean Air Act and protection of the environment.

This is a concerted effort led by the private sector to promote key destinations. The marketing strategy is expected to increase domestic tourism within 5 years at one hundred fifty percent.

The association will be having a series of workshops in Bohol and Cebu and will coordinate with the PTA for the master plan.

Familiarization tours for the travel, diplomatic, and media sectors and the Rotary Club of Manila will be implemented to bolster the tourism drive under the slogan, “Domestic Tourism is Patriotism.”


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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