Tourism players see a positive outlook for the tourism industry. Lourdes Sultan, Vice Chair of the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) bared that the province’s tourism industry has steadily picked up from the foreign market since opening up for domestic tourists at the beginning of year.

Governor’s Office chief of staff Atty. Jun Amora backed the statement observing flights expansion at the Bohol Panglao International Airport. Amora had also been welcoming large group excursions to the province this year – part of strategic direction in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions sector. He reported Bohol visits has also become incentives for large businesses abroad.

“We may even be able to surpass the 200,000 arrival target we set for ourselves with the way we have been performing as a destination,” Amora said, citing that the Provincial Government under the leadership of Gov. Aris Aumentado is putting a premium on various governance aspects that support the tourism industry.

Bohol Tourism Office head Jo Cabarrus reported that the Provincial Government has been actively involved in Department of Tourism (DOT) training initiatives for tourism players such as the refreshers for the Mabuhay brand of service and upcoming safety and security trainings specific for tourist police.

Cabarrus said a benchmarking for the office has been set to also learn best practices from other top destinations such as in the world heritage site – Vigan City as well as in Baguio City – included in the network of creative cities.

An innovative souvenir making program is also ongoing in the province for pottery, wood carving, painting, triptych, part of the office’s tasks on product development.
“The objective is to hone artistic talents, and for its outputs to eventually become souvenir items for guests,” she stated.

Cabarrus added that BTO is also the marketing arm for the province’s bid to become a UNESCO Global Geopark, for which a familiarization tour had recently been held to help with promotions and creating awareness for geoheritage concepts.

The itinerary had included faith-based stops such as the restored Maribojoc and Loon churches, also identified as cultural sites in the Bohol Island Aspiring Geopark program.

Amora said these places are worthwhile destinations for their history as well as a showcase of Bohol’s strong faith.

The updates on recent tourism initiatives were presented during Friday’s Capitol Reports at the Provincial Capitol.