Governor Hilario P. Davide III said he would “foster resilient tourism in Cebu.”
The governor said this after attending the Inter-Regional Tourism Policy (ITOP) forum last week in Phuket, Thailand.
From his first ever attended international tourism forum, Gov. Davide said he will mark the practices of better known tourist destinations in the world that could be implemented in the province.
He said he was impressed with Phuket, Thailand; Jeju, South Korea; and Okinawa, Japan.
“Ako pang gipahan-ay ang report… kon unsay akong nakat-onan didto, unsay puy mahimong magamit para sa atong (I have this report sorted out… what are the things I learned and the things that could be implemented in our) tourism industry,” he said in a press conference at the Capitol last Aug. 28.
ITOP is a rendezvous of its member-island provinces in Asia and other parts of the world to share their experiences to each other. One province in Sweden was also represented in the forum. Cebu is the only island province in the Philippines that is a member of ITOP.
The theme of this year’s forum is centered on sustainable maritime tourism.
Davide said that in his speech at the forum, he spoke about Daanbantayan town’s Malapascua Island.
This, as the theme coincided with their efforts to start an “ambitious program to develop the tourism industry in our smaller and islets.”
The governor already approved the Malapascua Island Eco-tourism Development Plan (MIEDP) early this month. MIEDP was already inexistent since the time of then Gov. Pablo Garcia.
He said this was tweaked to align it with the “development strategy” crafted for the yphoon Yolanda-damaged areas, including Malapascua.
He said the “efforts of rebuilding the tourism industry is based on the assumption that one, there will be another typhoon, and two, this typhoon could be stronger than the one that struck us in November last year.”
Among the five programs that the Capitol will adopt in Malapascua include a circumferential road and multipurpose hall, which will have a police outpost.
The governor has just approved the construction plan for the infrastructures. Some Php 5 million was given to the municipal government to start its construction.
The Capitol is also “establishing a protocol where we could engage private investors for a hybrid power supply. This pertains to solar and wind power to supplement or even replace the diesel power generators currently used by the community.”
A desalination plant was also seen to address the thin water supply in the island.
Aside from the infrastructures, the Capitol will also develop a livelihood program; improve local governance; and community education on ecology and environment for the people in the islands.