“May nagsasabing parang Boracay Island… (pero) mas maganda pa ito sa Boracay at mas malapit,”President Aquino was quoted giving this observation when he visited the island last Tuesday, February 25. He was on board a chopper when he got a first hand view of the island.
The president said a study would follow on the needs of the island, including the construction or upgrading of an airport and sufficiency of water supply. He spoke of a community-based tourism where the natives directly benefit from the industry. He believes that for every foreign tourist arriving, it is equivalent to a single job. “So, madaling makadagdag nang trabaho,” he said.
Hotelier Allan Monreal, president of Bantayan Island Association of Hotels, Resorts, and Bars and Restaurants said the private sector has laid down the groundwork for a Bantayan Island Tourism Roadmap via a tourism value chain assessment held last October.
Monreal added that it is just a matter of the government and the business sector, together with the communities, to sit down again and make it happen.
Last year, the tourist arrivals in the country reached 4.7 million. The target is to make it 10 million by 2016.
The presidential aerial fleet, during his historic visit, landed at the Sta. Fe airstrip. The President’s entourage included Governor Hilario P. Davide III, rehab Czar former Senator Panfilo Lacson, and some of the Cabinet secretaries. Xerxes Alkuino